Loan charge review – have your say

Published on 19 September 2019

It has been confirmed that Sir Amyas Morse, the former head of the National Audit Office (NAO), will lead an independent review of the loan charge. A call for evidence has been issued – here we tell you what the loan charge review means and how to have your say.

boardroom-group-discussion
©shutterstock/rawpixel

What will the review cover?

According to the published information, the review will consider whether the loan charge policy is an appropriate way of dealing with loan schemes used by ‘individuals who have entered directly into disguised remuneration schemes’ to avoid paying tax.

We understand that this refers to all individuals who entered into disguised remuneration avoidance schemes while they worked for different end clients or engagers – including those who may not have entered into these schemes knowingly, for example via agencies or umbrella companies.

The review is expected to report by mid-November – which leaves time for people to meet the 31st January 2020 tax return deadline, as necessary.

The review terms of reference can be found on GOV.UK.

How can I input?

A ‘call for evidence’ has been issued.

While there is a great deal of information already publicly available on the loan charge, the ‘call for evidence’ means that you are able to share your personal views and experiences of the loan charge.

If you would like your voice to be heard, but don’t really know how to respond or have never done anything like this before – don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you:

  • You will need to make your submission, in writing, by 30 September 2019.
  • You should email it to secretariat [at] loanchargereview.org.uk
  • There is no right or wrong format, however it is helpful to number your paragraphs 1, 2, 3 etc.
  • Just saying things naturally, in your own words, can be very powerful
  • Often a short and concise response is considered most useful. If it is any longer than, say, a few pages, you should include a summary of your main points at the beginning
  • If you want to include evidence, statistics or data to support your points, then provide a link to where the full information can be found
  • Make it clear who the response is from and your reasons for submitting a response – e.g. an individual who is affected by the loan charge
  • If you have any recommendations (or changes that you would like to see happen) that you would like Sir Amyas to consider, then do feel free to include them, although it goes without saying that he is not obliged to accept them!
  • Please note that the review team will publish most of the written evidence they receive. If you do not wish your response to published, you must say so and explain your reasons why.

What happens while the review is taking place?

A briefing note from HMRC explaining what the review means for individuals can be found on GOV.UK.

In summary, it says:

For those who have already settled with HMRC and have paid the amount they owe in full or are paying what they owe in instalments

You are not directly affected by the announcement of the review and there is no change to your tax position at this time.

HMRC will update this guidance setting out details of what the next steps are for you if your tax position changes as a result of the government response to the review. 

If you provided all the required information by 5 April 2019 and are waiting to finalise your settlement with HMRC

You can continue to finalise your settlement with HMRC if you wish to do so, which will allow you certainty in your tax affairs.

HMRC recognise that you may want to wait for the government’s response to the review before finalising your settlement.

If you decide to wait interest will not accrue provided HMRC have all the information they require from you to finalise your settlement and you will not need to complete the additional information return by 30 September 2019.

HMRC will update their guidance setting out details of what the next steps are for you if your tax position changes as a result of the government response to the review. 

If you are not settling your disguised remuneration scheme use

You will still need to complete an additional information return by 30 September 2019. You can find further information about the additional information requirements on GOV.UK.

We know that completing the additional information reporting form may be causing some concern or difficulty – some help and guidance will be posted to our website shortly – do check back for any updates.

(19-09-2019)

Contact: Meredith McCammond (please use form at Contact Us) or follow us on Twitter: @LITRGNews