top earners set up own firms to funnel payments 26 Monday, 5 October 2009 London Lite Blooming shameof fakelawn Big name: Fiona Bruce RetailDetail Make sure you wipe your feet on a trendy doormat when you walk through the door at home... Funky doormats Multi-stripe, 15, Habitat Retro graphic, 28, jamieoliver.com Pink heart, 22, beth stevens. co.uk Scottie dog, 15, Laura Ashley Union Flag, 23.99, notonthehighstreet.co.uk Jokebox......... Spotty, 12.50, John Lewis TOP BBC stars have set up their own companies and classified themselves as freelance to dodge the 50 per cent super- tax, it was reported today. Big names including Newsnight anchors Jeremy Paxman and Emily Maitlis, pre- senter Fiona Bruce and The One Show host Adrian Chiles, have registered firms through which to funnel payments. It will save them from paying the new 50 per cent levy on earnings of more than 150,000 a year that comes into force in April. A saving of about 106,000 in tax can be made on a 1m salary. The Beeb has been accused of encour- aging the practice, which it is claimed will save it millions of pounds a year in national insurance payments. Hundreds of other presenters are reportedly on freelance deals, including Today programme host John Humphrys. Critics argue that few of those do enough outside of the corporation to justify freelance status. Tax inspectors reportedly warned the BBC two years ago that employing so many people on a freelance basis was essentially a tax dodge, so many set up their owns firms. The companies include Bruces Paradox Productions, Maitliss M o u s e I n c a n d Paxmans Out In The Dark. Tory media spokesman Jeremy Hunt called the pay- ments staff salaries in all but name. But a BBC spokes- man said it was per- fectly lawful. Jan Brooker, 64, was thrilled to win a gardening contest despite her lawn being artificial. But Mrs Brooker, from Brentwood, has been the victim of spiteful letters in her local paper about her plastic lawn. I cant believe how horrible people can be, she said. I cant enter any contests for fear Ill be accused of cheating. Brentwood In Bloom organisers said she hadnt broken any rules. by mark blunden Own company: The One Show presenter Adrian Chiles 50%taxloophole saves BBC stars 100,000 a year H index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html