WeightWatchers could be hit with a £23m tax liability after a court ruling against the company.
HMRC ruled in 2007 that anyone who hosts WeightWatchers’ meetings should be treated as employees of the company for tax purposes. However, the company appealed stating that the hosts were self-employed.
After going to First-Tier Tribunal, it has been ruled that HMRC were correct in stating that the hosts of the meetings are in fact employees and should be treated as so in terms of tax purposes and National Insurance contributions.
As a result of this, WeightWatchers now face a £23m tax liability covering the period April 2001 to the year end 2009. This, of course, includes interests and penalties.
WeightWatchers are still adamant however that the leaders are self-employed and are very likely to appeal the decision.