Jeremy Paxman is thought to be among 148 BBC presenters channelling their earnings through “personal service companies” — with significant scope to avoid paying full tax. The figure was revealed by the corporation’s chief financial officer at a grilling by MPs from the Public Accounts Committee yesterday.

While the broadcaster claim the companies are standard industry practice, Paxman’s firm Out In The Dark Ltd was incorporated on 28 May 2009 — 20 years after he started presenting Newsnight but barely one month after Labour chancellor Alistair Darling introduced a 50 pence top rate of tax. A swathe of companies associated with BBC talent were established around this time, with insiders indicating that the corporation had advised them to do so.

When Tory MP Richard Bacon previously suggested on Newsnight that some people at the BBC were using service companies, Paxman responded:

“Quite possible … errr …  I don’t know who.”

Food for thought next time Paxo is grilling someone on their financial affairs.

  1. Cassandrina says:

    It is common knowledge in the BBC that John Simpson the BBC foreign news editor has used a company tax vehicle for over 10 years. I also had this fact corroborated while in India 18 month ago from a BBC insider.
    Dimbleby of QT is also alleged to be in the frame.
    All the champagne socialists are at it in the bbc and other left wing media – total hypocrisy.

  2. Is it hypocracy, or just legal. I thought the term champagne socialist died out about 15 years ago.
    Must be a left wing media problem, theyre always at it arent they. Right wimg financiers never avoid tax.

  3. So the peoples Champion is up to his neck in so called Legal Tax dodging like the rest of the TRUE BLUES he interagates on the TV. He’s turned out to be the biggest HYPOCRIT of them all. And like the rest of these thieves he’ll carry on putting two fingers up to poor and decent who look up to him. SHAME ON YOU, PAXMAN give it all back to the TAXMAN

  4. Lynda Davies says:

    I don’t blame those who have legally set up this sort of company to reduce their tax bill, the fact remains if they all paid the correct rate as PAYE employees have to the debt levels in this Country would be much lower. How can Paxman and the like honestly grill MP’s on the economy while at the same being part of the problem. Make it illegal for anyone anywhere to pay reduced tax as a result these schemes.

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