BBC to investigate tax irregularity claims.
Senior MPs have raised concerns that the BBC employs up to 25,000 people a year who are not on their pay roll and so must must make their own tax and national insurance payments.
The cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it was "shocked" to discover how many off-payroll contracts were provided by the BBC.
According to the committee, 13,000 people who appear on television and radio - so-called on-air "talent" - and another 12,000 off-air staff work on this self employed basis.
Some 3,000 are paid via private companies, potentially allowing them to limit their tax liabilities.
The BBC insisted the actual number of people employed on this basis was far fewer than 25,000 as "in many cases an individual - such as an occasional contributor to programmes - could be issued with a contract each time he or she is booked to appear".
PAC chairwoman Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP, warned that the use of off-payroll arrangements gave rise to "suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance".
The corporation told the PAC inquiry that its off-payroll staff were "freelance workers" and that the arrangements were "a pretty standard model" in the media industry and "important to the economics of the BBC".
But, in a report published today, the PAC stressed that the BBC could not provide "any assurance" that those employed on such contracts were paying the appropriate tax.
Under new rules, announced by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander in May, all senior public sector staff must be on the payroll unless there are exceptional temporary circumstances.
In a statement, the BBC said: "We note the conclusions of the PAC report and will respond to the points raised as part of our detailed review of tax arrangements."
A Treasury spokeswoman said: "The BBC is wholly independent and local government pay is not controlled by central government. However the Government has raised this issue with both the BBC and the LGA and we look forward to seeing the results of the BBC's own review, which is now under way."
The BBC will be conducting a detailed review its payment practices.
Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.
Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.
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