A North-East MP is today (Monday) launching a petition urging the UK Government to suspend the 2019 Loan Charge and order an independent review into the “unfair and damaging” policy.
The public petition also calls on the government to bring forward legislation to remove the retrospective element of the charge. Ross Thomson, who has campaigned on a cross-party basis with Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, said the recent change of Prime Minister offered the opportunity for a “rethink”.
Boris Johnson said during the Conservative leadership contest that the retrospective nature of the charge “seems superficially unjust” when people were advised it was an “entirely legal” option. HMRC has levied large tax bills – in some cases running to hundreds of thousands of pounds – on people who were paid in loans that the taxman termed “disguised renumeration schemes”.
Those affected – including contractors in the oil and gas industry and care sector workers – are now facing bills for tax and National Insurance contributions dating back up to 20 years. But campaigners have said that those who were assured by financial advisors and employers that the method of payment was within the law.
Mr Thomson, Scottish Conservative MP for Aberdeen South, said: “I have campaigned on this issue for some time now and worked with HMRC to try and find a solution on behalf of my constituents. However, we now have a new Prime Minister and to all intents and purposes, a new government. That change offers a golden opportunity for a rethink of this unfair and damaging policy. I am launching this petition to call for the 2019 Loan Charge to be suspended to allow for an independent review to take place. I also want to see legislation brought forward to remove the retrospective nature of the charge. Some people are facing financial ruin with bills running back two decades. They were told this was all above board, and I think that is the crucial point. I would urge all of those affected to sign this petition to make their voices heard and I hope the government will listen.”
“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."