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Gary Lineker is currently fighting an IR35 tax case in the courts against HMRC who claim he owes £4.9million in unpaid tax. Upon hearing the news, some may assume it is a complicated legal matter concerning only the wealthy and famous but analysis of the details shows freelancers and contractors across the UK could be hit by the same issues.
In a nutshell, HMRC is pursuing Mr Lineker through a First Tier Tax Tribunal.
HMRC have taken the view that Mr Lineker should have been operating “inside IR35” on contracts held at the BBC (2013 – 2017) and at BT Sport (2015 – 2018).
Mr Lineker is appealing and Dave Chaplin, the CEO of ContractorCalculator, commented on the developments and pledged his support to Mr Lineker’s cause.
He explained: “Once again, we are seeing a high-profile celebrity being targeted by HMRC in a misguided attempt to shore up the Treasury’s coffers.
“HMRC changed the rules for IR35 in the public sector from April 2017, and now if an individual is found to be a ‘deemed employee’ the employer’s National Insurance is paid by the firm hiring the contractor.
“If Gary Lineker’s situation was under the IR35 microscope under the new rules then the BBC would have a tax bill to pay.
“Whilst the tax figures in these rulings can be considered headline grabbing, one has to consider that those figures are largely inflated compared to what is actually owed, because the amounts of tax already paid need to be offset, which in average cases is at least a third of the original sum.
“I sincerely hope that Gary Lineker wins his case. HMRC continues to carry out a witch hunt on high profile media stars and fails to grasp the simple concept that there is a freelance premium, and because of this, freelancers end up generating more in tax by operating this way compared to employment.
“HMRC should be thanking freelancers for their contributions, not victimising them as tax avoiders using this cruel legislation.”
Similar sentiment was shared by Seb Maley, the CEO of Qdos, who issued a stern warning to freelancers, self-employed workers and contractors across the UK.
Seb concluded: “This is the most high profile case in the history of the IR35 legislation.
“It might also carry the most tax liability – a staggering £4.9m. But it’s not the first time HMRC have pursued a well known TV presenter, and I doubt it will be the last.
“The irony is that Gary Lineker may have been told by the BBC to work through a limited company.
“It might not have been his choice, as was the case with several other BBC freelancers who HMRC have targeted in recent years.
“HMRC’s understanding of the IR35 rules and their track record in tribunals leaves a lot to be desired. So I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s found that Lineker is genuinely self-employed and HMRC have got things wrong yet again.
“This case also highlights the potential risks of non compliance – not just to freelancers and contractors, but also to businesses that engage them. It’s vital that well informed IR35 status decisions are made from the outset.”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange will allow more traders to return to its 11 Wall Street trading floor, based on vaccination rates, and ease restrictions for people who have had a shot, its President Stacey Cunningham said on Friday.
The NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:) Inc, said trading firms with 100% of their floor staff vaccinated can increase headcount at their booths, and while vaccinated traders still have to socially distance, they can remove their masks when seated.
“Given the fact that so many more people are vaccinated now, we can start to ease off on some of the restrictions that we’ve had in place since we reopened,” Cunningham told CNBC.
The NYSE floor is the last physical U.S. stock trading venue, as a slew of all-electronic competitors have emerged and eaten away at the Big Board’s once dominant market share.
Futures exchange operator CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:) said on Tuesday it would permanently shutter the physical trading pits it closed last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 144-year-old London Metal Exchange said last month it will announce around June 8 whether it will reopen its open outcry trading ring or permanently shut the only such floor in Europe.
The NYSE closed its trading floor in March 2020 and moved to electronic trading for the first time in 228 years after several traders contracted the coronavirus.
The exchange reopened the floor, which it also uses for its opening and closing bell ceremonies, to tout initial public offerings, and as a backdrop for several television news programs, in May 2020 with reduced capacity and extra safety measures.
Cunningham said the NYSE floor is currently at around 50% of its pre-COVID capacity.
LONDON (Reuters) -BMW remains on course to meet its profit targets for 2021 despite rising raw material costs, the German carmaker said on Friday, having largely steered clear of the semiconductor chip shortage battering rivals like Volkswagen (DE:).
Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess had said on Thursday that Europe’s top carmaker was in “crisis mode” over the chip shortage, which would hit profits in the second quarter, while Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co last week said the lack of chips could halve its second-quarter vehicle production.
BMW is known for its strong relations with suppliers and has been working with them to avoid disruptions. Aside from a temporary shutdowns of MINI production in the United Kingdom, the carmaker has not been affected.
BMW said that sales of its electrified vehicle models more than doubled in the first quarter, when it also benefited from higher prices and strong demand in China.
BMW had already reported a 370% jump in pre-tax profit as it bounced back more strongly than expected from a pandemic-ravaged first quarter last year.
Sales in China almost doubled in the first quarter versus the same period in 2020, the company said.
Rebounding demand from consumers in China in the second half of last year helped BMW and its German rivals Volkswagen AG (OTC:) and Daimler AG (DE:) post solid profits for 2020 despite the global coronavirus pandemic.
BMW also saw solid first-quarter growth in other regions, including a 17.4% jump in sales in North America, driven by strong demand from U.S. drivers.
“The first quarter shows that our global business model is a successful one, even in times of crisis,” Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said in a statement. “We remain firmly on track for continued sustainable, profitable growth.”
Most of the auto industry has been hit by a global semiconductor chip shortage, shuttering many assembly plants, driving down inventories and pushing up prices for both new and used vehicles.
The German carmaker said that its first-quarter results also received a boost from the sale of previously leased vehicles, in particular in the U.S. market.
The carmaker said that it expects to have 2 million fully-electric cars on the road by 2025.
BMW said it expects the pre-tax margin for its core autos business to come in at the upper end of its previous forecast of between 6% and 8%.
Jeff Bezos wealth exceeds $ 171 billion during pandemic
The price of Dogecoin hit an all-time high this week and it is now worth more than Ford, BP and Tesco amid a crypto market frenzy. Still valued at more than $ 0.60 (£0.43), Dogecoin has risen more than 14,000 percent since the start of the year and its market cap – the combined value of every coin – is more than $ 79billion (£57billion). It comes following a tweet from Elon Musk, who has been dubbed the “Dogefather” after he shared a video claiming the coin is “the future of cryptocurrency”.
And Professor Carol Alexander, from the University of Sussex Business School, says a “huge surge” is on the way before Mr Musk appears on American TV show Saturday Night Live tomorrow.
She told Express.co.uk: “Dogecoin is renowned for bubble after bubble. It happens all the time, but the bubbles have just got bigger.
“Usually, when Mr Musk tweets, the peak happens about 24 hours afterwards, and then it gradually goes down.
“It’s going up in a very bumpy way. It’s a huge surge and then it doesn’t come right down.”
Jeff Bezos could help the price rocket (Image: GETTY)
Dogecoin’s price has surged recently (Image: GETTY)
The expert explained how a similar situation was seen earlier this year – and why tomorrow’s surge could be the biggest yet.
She said: “At the beginning of February it was about $ 0.03 and then it went up to $ 0.06 and came back down to about $ 0.05.
“It took about 24 hours to get up to $ 0.06 and a week to drop down.
“Every time he tweets it happens and if you get more people like Jeff Bezos [talking about it] it could really rocket.
“In that case, I would want to get out as quickly as possible as it will crash back down afterwards.”
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s airlines are under renewed pressure to raise cash or face the risk of having to downsize, consolidate or have their planes repossessed by lessors as a surge of COVID-19 infections roils travel.
Passenger traffic fell nearly 30% in April from a month before and has halved again so far in May, forcing even the country’s biggest and most cashed-up carrier, IndiGo, to gear up for the storm.
IndiGo’s parent, Interglobe Aviation, will meet on Friday to consider an equity raising, just months after it abandoned plans to raise up to 40 billion rupees ($ 543 million) in January due to a speedy recovery in travel.
With traffic plummeting, according to aviation ministry data, IndiGo’s cash burn is expected to rise to $ 3.4 million a day – a level last seen in September – from $ 2 million a day at the end of 2020, said an analyst who tracks the company.
This means IndiGo, which has more than a 50% share of the market, may look to raise $ 543 million to $ 679 million amounting to at least two quarters of cash burn, said the analyst, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak publicly.
While IndiGo is seen as a survivor, the situation is far worse for a suite of smaller carriers, particularly those without large backers, some of which were already struggling before the coronavirus hit, say analysts.
“India hasn’t provided much government assistance or support so the private airlines will need to turn to the private sector,” said independent aviation analyst Brendan Sobie.
The cash call comes as Indian carriers are expected to report total losses of $ 4-$ 4.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31 and will lose a similar amount this year, aviation consultancy CAPA India said in a note this week.
With more people losing loved ones and the outlook on the economy, jobs and incomes turning down, a recovery in domestic travel, which had been expected by the end of 2021, may not come until at least the first quarter of 2022, analysts estimate.
To make matters worse, several countries including the United States and Britain with whom India has had bilateral arrangements to operate charter flights have restricted arrivals due to high infection rates.
The charters offered a lucrative revenue stream for local carriers after the Indian government shut down regular international flights when the pandemic hit. A recovery in international traffic to pre-COVID levels is expected only by 2024, according to CAPA.
LESSORS LESS FORGIVING
Smaller carriers like SpiceJet Ltd and privately owned GoAir could come under pressure to reduce capacity, find partners or consolidate, analysts say, particularly as aircraft lessors take a harder line.
CAPA expects 250-300 planes to be grounded in the first half of the current fiscal year, while lessors may not be as patient as last year in allowing delayed repayments now air travel is resuming in places such as the United States and China.
“There is now more demand for aircraft, and they would rather have the asset back than let airlines use it for free and depreciate it,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, former chief commercial officer of Indian airline Vistara.
Debt forgiveness is also unlikely.
“Lessors are united in not writing off airline debts and that won’t change, as some are also under severe threat of bankruptcy,” said Shukor Yusof, head of aviation consultancy Endau Analytics.
GoAir plans to raise up to 25 billion rupees through an initial public offering, local media reported in March, though as the COVID-19 situation worsens the attraction for investors becomes less clear.
While IndiGo, which took delivery of 44 new planes from Airbus last year, has not delayed lease payments, SpiceJet had missed payments even before COVID-19 hit, according to leasing industry sources, and its financial accounts state it has delayed payments during the crisis.
GoAir and SpiceJet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Any carriers that have planes repossessed will struggle once the market picks up. While CAPA says consolidation is inevitable, potentially leading to a 2-3 airline system, other analysts say it is still too early to predict an outcome.
“This hopefully will be a temporary setback for all airlines. We will have to see if all the players will be able to weather the storm,” said Sobie.
(Reuters) -Peloton Interactive Inc beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue on Thursday as more people snapped up its exercise bikes and treadmills to work out indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peloton (NASDAQ:) emerged as a pandemic winner as home workouts became all the rage during prolonged lockdowns, but investors are now closely watching how demand will holdup as vaccine rollouts in key markets allow fitness centres to gradually reopen and enthusiasts to train outside.
The results come a day after the company issued a recall of its treadmills, following reports of multiple injuries and the death of one child in an accident.
Revenue at Connected Fitness, which includes interactive videos that stream live classes, jumped 139.9% to $ 1.02 billion in the quarter, while its Connected Fitness subscriptions increased 135% to about 2.08 million.
The interactive fitness equipment maker said total quarterly revenue rose 141% to $ 1.26 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $ 1.11 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Net loss attributable to Class A and Class B shareholders narrowed to $ 8.6 million, or 3 cents per share, in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $ 55.6 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.
Finance experts have warned investors that SafeMoon is susceptible to “pump and dump schemes”, where the price dramatically falls.
There are a number of limitations to the crypto, and the jury is still out, according to Black Book Investments CEO, Mohit Tater.
He told Express.co.uk: “The reason why SafeMoon has caught the attention of the public is its 7,000 percent price spike, with investors boasting about turning $ 3,000 into $ 91,000 in three weeks, along with other success stories.
Investing.com – EOG Resources (NYSE:) reported on Thursday first quarter that beat analysts’ forecasts and revenue that topped expectations.
EOG Resources announced earnings per share of $ 1.62 on revenue of $ 3.69B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $ 1.49 on revenue of $ 3.67B.
EOG Resources shares are up 54.34% from the beginning of the year, still down 1.50% from its 52 week high of $ 78.14 set on May 5. They are outperforming the S&P 500 which is up 11.86% from the start of the year.
EOG Resources shares gained 0.01% in after-hours trade following the report.
EOG Resources follows other major Energy sector earnings this month
EOG Resources’s report follows an earnings beat by Exxon Mobil on April 30, who reported EPS of $ 0.65 on revenue of $ 59.15B, compared to forecasts EPS of $ 0.5989 on revenue of $ 56.38B.
Chevron had beat expectations on April 30 with first quarter EPS of $ 0.9 on revenue of $ 32.03B, compared to forecast for EPS of $ 0.8875 on revenue of $ 32.54B.
PARIS (Reuters) – France has decided to widen its COVID-19 vaccine rollout to people aged 16-17 who could face a high risk of a major illness from the virus, said the country’s health ministry on Thursday, as the country gradually accelerates its vaccine programme.
The health ministry said this category of 16-17 year olds would be allowed to get the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine from Thursday onwards.