Written Question: Loan Charges

Question:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to ensure that those affected by the 2019 loan charge are not forced into bankruptcy by the repayments. (200150)

Tabled on: 07 December 2018

Answer - Mel Stride:

Disguised Remuneration (DR) schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of ordinary remuneration with the sole purpose of avoiding income tax and National Insurance contributions. On average loan scheme users have twice as much income as the average UK taxpayer, when taking into account the loan they received.

HMRC is working hard to help individuals get out of tax avoidance for good and are encouraging anyone who is concerned about their ability to pay to contact them as soon as possible to discuss their options. HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline for those wanting to settle their avoidance scheme use, and discuss payment options.

HMRC does not want to make anybody bankrupt and very few cases ever reach that stage. They will work with all individuals to reach a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

HMRC has simplified the process for those who choose to settle their use of avoidance schemes before the loan charge arises, so that those earning less than £50,000 a year and are no longer engaging in tax avoidance can agree a payment plan of up to five years without the need for detailed supporting information. There is no maximum period within which an overall settlement can be agreed, and all individual cases will be dealt with appropriately and sympathetically.

Since the announcement of the 2019 loan charge at Budget 2016, HMRC has agreed settlements on disguised remuneration schemes with employers and individuals of over 650 million pounds. More than 90% of this amount was collected from employers, with less than 10% from individuals.