Lorraine Kelly: ITV host breaks silence on ‘horrible, draining’ court case over £1.2m bill

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ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly, 61, has broken her silence on a “horrible, draining” court case against HMRC, after receiving a £1.2 million tax bill. For the first time, the media personality has addressed the impact that the court case had on her and her family’s lives, after deciding to take them to court.

We had a strong case and we won

Lorraine Kelly

Speaking to The Times alongside her daughter Rosie Smith, 27, the ITV host discussed the court case that happened four years ago.

Lorraine said: “When we took the decision to take HMRC to court, it was a horrible, draining experience.”

The star received a tax bill for £1.2 million which branded her an “ITV employee”.

However, the Scottish native disputed this and claimed that she was a freelancer.

The ITV host continued: “But they’d [HMRC] made a mistake.

“They hadn’t taken into account all the taxes we had actually paid. We had a strong case and we won.”

In the end, judge Jennifer Dean ruled in Lorraine’s favour, calling her a “self-employed star”.

She also added that Lorraine performs as her “chatty” TV persona.

Addressing the outcome of the case, the media star said that it’s given “hope” to people in similar situations.

She said: “What’s been amazing since is that it’s given a lot of hope to people going through a similar experience — not people on TV, not rich people, but people who work for themselves.”

Lorraine also added that her daughter Rosie was extremely “supportive” during the “draining” period of time.

The case reportedly centred on a contract that the star signed in 2012 to present Lorraine, as well as her former show Daybreak, which ended in 2014.

Four years later, Lorraine received a bill of nearly £900,000 in income tax and over £300,000 in nature insurance contributions.

After the ITV presenter appealed and the case was heard by the first-tier tax tribunal.

Addressing the relationship that the star had with ITV, the judge said that the host could be classified as a “theatrical artist”.

She said: “We did not accept that Ms Kelly simply appeared as herself – we were satisfied that Ms Kelly presents a persona of herself, she presents herself as a brand and that is the brand ITV sought when engaging her.

“All parts of the show are a performance, the act being to perform the role of a friendly, chatty and fun personality,” added the judge.

She continued: “We should make clear we do not doubt that Ms Kelly is an entertaining lady but the point is that for the time Ms Kelly is contracted to perform live on air she is public ‘Lorraine Kelly’.

Following the ruling, HMRC said that they were “disappointed” with the result.

“We will carefully consider the outcome of the tribunal before deciding whether to appeal,” a spokesman said at the time.

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