The BBC has made hardship payments to presenters facing large tax bills after they claim they were forced to form companies to be paid, MPs were told on Wednesday.Deputy director general Anne Bulford told the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) they had given loans and advances to a number of individuals with temporary financial difficulties after their tax arrangements changed.”We are talking about comparatively modest sums of money in the overall scheme of things but important to the individuals. We are talking about 15 individuals,” she said.”We think it is the right thing to do.”The presenters previously formed companies so they could be treated as freelancers, but moved last year to a PAYE system,”For some people, especially some lower paid presenters, that represents a very big challenge because the cash flow is different,” Ms Bulford said.The disclosure came after another Commons committee was told last month how presenters were pushed by the BBC into setting up personal service companies, depriving them of employment rights such as holiday and sick pay and pension contributions.They were subsequently left with large bills for unpaid taxes after the arrangements fell foul of HM Revenue and Customs. BBC Director General Lord Hall said the problems – affecting mainly radio and news presenters – were in part the consequence of a series of changes by HMRC as to the way such staff should be treated for tax purposes. “HMRC have said the test which they were applying and asking us to apply is not fit for purpose so we need to have yet another test,” he told the committee.”This has caused a good deal of confusion for individuals. It has caused a great deal of anger among the people who are our frontline presenters, mainly in radio and in news.”In some cases it has caused some hardship. If there are cases of hardship we have made it clear we want to deal with those as a priority. My sympathies are to the people who are on the raw end of this.”Ms Bulford did not rule out the prospect that the BBC would end up paying the back taxes of some of the staff concerned.”I can’t conclude on that until we start to work through the individual cases,” she said.Ms Bulford denied that managers at Capita, the firm which collects the TV licence fee for the BBC, were being offered cash incentives to maximise the number of prosecutions.The Daily Mail reported that managers were given generous bonus payments for encouraging door-to-door officers to fill out as many “prosecution statements” as possible.However, Ms Bulford said the completion of a prosecution statement did not mean the individual concerned would face court action. “There was an old scheme in place which isn’t there any longer for area managers whereby they were encouraged to collect those evidence statements but that is a different thing from being incentivised on prosecutions,” she said.”Using this phrase prosecution statement I think is very unhelpful because what it is is collecting the evidence of what is going on when the people visit.”It doesn’t automatically mean they are going through to prosecution. They collect many more statements than flow through to that point.” Lord Hall said the problems were in part the consequence of changes by HMRC Credit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.