Member Since: 23rd Aug 2017
13th Sep 2019
MPs should have scrutinised the law prior to enacting it, yes. But if you look at the history, you will find that there has been a systemic campaign of misinformation and propaganda from HMRC and and the Treasury around this. They didn’t perform a proper impact assessment, they performed a fake consultation and they kept evidence from MPs until the last minute before rushing the law through the committee stage “in record time” (direct quote from Mel Stride, the responsible Treasury Minister at the time) over the objections of MPs.
Since then, the Treasury have sought to squash any attempts by MPs or Peers to re-examine this legislation. The refused to cooperate with two separate Parliamentary inquiries. They successfully stopped an amendment to the 2018 Finance Bill which would have repealed the Loan Charge from being debated. They did not perform a full review that MPs called for in January 2019. They ignored entirely a later vote in April 2019 by the House of Commons where the view of the House was established that the Loan Charge should be delayed and and an independent review started. HMRC and HMRC have actively lobbied for their own agenda at every point along the way. This is particularly worrying in the case of HMRC, who are supposed to simply administer the tax system (which they failed to do properly in this case). Why are HMRC writing letters to MPs, unsolicited, asking them to stop objecting to a government policy?
HMRC are out of control and this is first time that the British people have said “enough!”. It’s a credit to our democracy that MPs and Peers have been prepared to take up the fight even if they know that there might be a few bad headlines as a result. I have the deepest respect for the likes of Stephen Lloyd, Sir Ed Davey, Ruth Cadbury, Ross Thomson, David Davis, Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Grieve QC, Sammy Wilson and Jim Fitzpatrick. They don’t agree on other matters, but they are working together on this issue on behalf of their constituents and because they understand that the Loan Charge is wrong.
30th Mar 2019
Thank you for this article Rebecca. Let’s hope for a good debate next week, a suspension of the Loan Charge to slow for a genuine review and then some thoughtful changes to the legislation in order to avoid devastating the lives of tens of thousands of families across the U.K. who did nothing wrong.
29th Mar 2019
Justin Bryant wrote:
I am very impressed with whoever it was who spotted that 2012 interest error.
3rd Aug 2018
Challenges to APNs have been tried. Unfortunately the European Convention on Human Rights is mostly toothless when it comes to tax law.
1st Jun 2018
Sorry. What level playing field? Large multi-national companies use tax structures peddled by the Big Four Accountancy firms (whose staff rotate through the Treasury advising on tax rules) in order to pay next to zero U.K. tax.
The Duke of Westminster paid next to no tax on his multi-billion pound inheritance in 2017 - because this is allowed by the rules.
MPs expense claims are specifically exempted (unlike any other profession in the U.K.) from being considered to be a taxable Benefit In Kind.
And at the same time a punitive tax charge (2019 Loan Charge) is introduced to club tens of thousands of contractors into submission when they have a reasonable case to argue that the RangersFC Supreme Court ruling has provided a precedent for all tax liability to reside with employers.
I would say the playing field is decidedly tilted.
1st Jun 2018
Interesting, as yesterday was the deadline (not sure if HMRC ever announced this outside of letting tax advisors know) for people to register an interest in settling.
1st Jun 2018
2019 Loan Charge.
14th Dec 2017
I would be happy to just get some support from the accounting profession for the principle that HMRC should pursue the organisers of these schemes with the same venom as they have directed towards individual contractors. If HMRC used the Rangers Supreme Court verdict (instead of just vaguely gesturing towards it and saying “see! We told you all along that this didn’t work. Never mind who the judge said actually owes tax. Pay up like a good little ‘customer’.”) then they now have the possibility of pursuing the employers for PAYE liabilities from prior years or seek to transfer those liabilities to the directors of those companies where they have been wound up.
HMRCs actual approach of seeking to pin 100% of the liabilty on the contractors in ALL cases lets the organisers (who owned the umbrella company) entirely off the hook. They are now toasting their good fortune aboard their yachts.
5th Dec 2017
Reading through all the comments above, in particular those from “Exfoliate”, I think even the most critical reader would conclude that it’s a complicated matter with the facts varying from case to case. And the governments blind wholesale approach which seeks to change the law to make the end contractor liable for 100% of up to 20-years PAYE/NIC is NOT about fairness. It only draws a line under a whole sorry mess as far as HMRC are concerned. They will bankrupt a bunch of people whilst collected a fraction of what was actually avoided and other parties who made £ms will escape unscathed.
All this rather than follow HMRCs own Litigation and Settlement Strategy which might actually apply the law and reach a fairer outcome. This would also require HMRC to pursue ALL parties involved instead of allowing them discretion to pin the blame on whomever they choose.
5th Dec 2017
“For those contributors, particularly accountants, who appear to be rejoicing in the discomfort being experienced by taxpayers (and their advisers) affected by the above changes in legislation, I would simply state the obvious and observe that it's only a matter of time before HMRC/government's disregard of the law (in relation to legitimate taxpayer disputes) is extended to all other areas of tax.
Whilst the potential liabilities are significant (and life changing) for individual taxpayers affected by the loan charge/disguised remuneration, the overall figures which will be collected will be comparatively small - individuals and companies that have benefited from tax planning arrangements can be sacrificed to serve political objectives. Once these people have been stripped of their wealth, the target will move onto everyone else.
If you are still in doubt, I would strongly recommend that the Whole of Government Accounts is essential reading for those supporters of the DR legislation which is the subject of this article.
Application of even the most simplistic analytical review techniques demonstrates where the problem really lies - a deficiency of assets of £2.4 trillion, excluding state pension liabilities of £4.1 trillion, which is increasing every year.
The rule of law is important. Taxpayers have a right to rely on their legitimate dispute with HMRC being heard independently through the courts. They are being denied this opportunity by this type of legislation.”