Ross was vocal in his support of constituents, many of whom are oil and gas sector workers, caught up in an HMRC crackdown on tax avoidance for taking up schemes they were assured were above board.
Ross' mailbox and surgeries was inundated with complaints from people who were advised to set themselves up as personal limited companies and get off the company books. All of those who did so, were under the impression that there was nothing wrong or illegal.
Ross spoke during a Westminster Hall debate and a Backbench Business Debate on the issue, where he cited examples of several constituents who are being pursued by HMRC – in some cases for hundreds of thousands of pounds – because the 2019 Loan Charge is being applied retrospectively.
“My inbox and my surgeries have been inundated. I represent Aberdeen South, which is the energy capital of Europe and the hub of our oil and gas industry. Many who worked in oil and gas were actively encouraged by their companies to get involved with such schemes, to set up a personal limited company and to get off the company books. Many did so for many years. Many felt assured that they were being advised by chartered accountants and tax advisers that everything was above board. It was their belief that their professional accountant could not advise anything illegal, otherwise their chartered status would be revoked. For many, this option seemed to be the obvious choice. The retrospective nature of this decision is causing great distress. As has been said, there is a huge human cost.”
Ross successfully campaigned for an independent review into the 2019 Loan Charge which has severely affected many of his constituents.
"The government must listen to the MPs who spoke on behalf of their constituents and will take heed of the clear view of the Commons. The retrospective nature of the Loan Charge is causing great distress. There is a huge human cost. It is right that we condemn those who sold such schemes. It is deeply unfair that the Government seeks to do this retrospectively. MPs across the House of Commons expressed serious concerns about the fairness of the Loan Charge and the impact it will have on people. We are not going away so if the government does not act, MPs will find other ways in parliament to make changes.”
Loan Charge Petition
“We the undersigned call on the UK Government to suspend the 2019 Loan Charge before the end of September and to order a proper review of the policy which is independent of HMRC and the Government.
We urge the Government to put all settlement activity on hold and that all settlement agreements, including agreed payment plans, be suspended until the independent review is completed and Parliament has considered its conclusions.
We further call on the Government to bring forward legislation to remove the retrospective element of the 2019 Loan Charge completely so that it applies from the date of Royal Assent of the Finance Act, 16th November 2017."