Tale of a Spooks star, ‘secret police’ and a £150k tax bill

By Press Association Reporters

Actor Robert Glenister has said he will have to sell or remortgage his house after losing a battle with the taxman over national insurance demands.

Lawyers representing a company operated by Glenister, 59, to provide “services to clients” complained about an HM Revenue and Customs demand for national insurance contributions.

Tax officials said arrangements entered into between Big Bad Wolff Ltd, Glenister – who starred in the BBC hits Hustle and Spooks – and clients made Big Bad Wolff liable for national insurance contributions.

The actor said he is facing a bill of £147,000 plus interest and told the Mail on Sunday: “I have got two options – either I sell my house or I remortgage my house.

“I don’t want to sell it because I am 60 next year and the only other alternative is to have a significant mortgage hanging around my neck until I am well into my 70s.”

He also criticised HMRC, telling the paper: “It acts like an anonymous secret police force… They treat you like a criminal. I don’t think you can do that in a civilised society.”

Robert Glenister (Ian West/PA)

Glenister said it was unfair for the taxman to backdate payments until 2004 when the revenue did not contact him until 2010.

In 2017, a judge ruled against Big Bad Wolff after a tribunal hearing, and the company has now lost an appeal.

Two appeal judges, Mr Justice Henry Carr and Judge Jonathan Richards, dismissed Big Bad Wolff’s challenge in a written ruling published after a tribunal hearing in London in March.