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Eamonn Holmes says he's 'very bitter' after tax dispute 'forced him to sell house'

Eamonn Holmes has alleged that he was forced to sell his Belfast home following a tax dispute, leaving him feeling "very bitter".

The GB News presenter, 64, said that selling his home had been the only real option and that HMRC had "taken away everything I ever worked for".

Holmes presented ITV flagship show This Morning alongside his wife Ruth Langsford every Friday for 15 years until announcing his departure in November 2021.

He said he lost two HMRC appeals over whether he was freelance or staff at the broadcaster.

Tax officials allegedly ruled that Holmes was staff, however he said he never got sick pay, holiday pay, or company shares.

Holmes was reportedly ordered to pay 10 years of backdated national insurance and tax bills around £250,000 and says he also had to shell out "hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees".

Eamonn Holmes (right) pictured with wife and former This Morning co-host Ruth Langsford (PA)
Eamonn Holmes (right) pictured with wife and former This Morning co-host Ruth Langsford (PA)

After this, selling his Belfast home was the only viable option, he claimed.

Holmes told UTV (Northern Ireland's ITV region): "I had a house here until six weeks ago when I was forced to sell it by the Inland Revenue (HMRC). It's something I’m very bitter about because people think you earn lots of money and therefore you have to pay. It’s like they have taken away everything I ever worked for.

"People think it’s only the Eamonn Holmeses of this world that they’re after. But it’s not. The country is broken."

Holmes previously called his tax row "the most stressful experience outside of losing my father" and told The Mirror that he believed a severe case of shingles he suffered in 2018 was caused by the stress.

He said: "I was like a lamb to the slaughter – it was the most stressful, humiliating experience."

The Standard contacted a representative for HMRC, who said: "We take the wellbeing of all taxpayers seriously and do everything we can for those who engage with us to get their tax affairs in order, including by offering affordable payment plans."