In what became a tussle between a TV favourite and the HMRC, Rod Bond won a row over a multi-million-pound tax bill with the HMRC. Centred around a contract Rod Bond signed with Sky in 2011, the HMRC sent a tax bill for £2 million for his work with Sky in that period. Owing two-thirds of that amount in income tax, and the remainder in national insurance contributions, Rod Bond was hit with the massive tax bill unexpectedly. “In all honesty, I didn’t see the tax bill coming. I thought the correspondence from the HMRC was fake, at first. I thought I was being subjected to a tax scam, or a cruel joke,” said Rod Bond in an exclusive interview. “The amount of income tax the HMRC demanded was staggering,” the actor and veteran philanthropist added.

Rod Bond was contracted to working for Sky through a company administered by him and his wife. The tax row with the HMRC centred around whether he held an employer-employee relationship with Sky, or whether his services were provided as part of a contract for work. During the tribunal, Judge John Smith ruled that Rod Bond appeared as a “theatrical artist” meaning that any payments made to an agent would be permissible as a tax-deductible expense. Rod Bond explained, “All parts of the Sky show constitute a performance. I’m not hired as an employee, I’m hired to portray a persona, a theatrical persona who has its own traits. The original contract with Sky has me delivering that theatrical persona as a service, which is provided through an agent.”

Rod Bond’s public row with HMRC ended in a rare defeat for the government agency. An army of fans applauded their on-screen icon in its wake.