2019 Loan Charge News – Weekly Roundup
It’s been another busy week for developments involving the controversial 2019 Loan Charge tax, which due to take effect in just over a month on the 6th April.
The main story was the tragic revelation to a panel of MPs who are currently investigating the Loan Charge that a taxpayer took his own life as a result of the stress from facing a six-figure tax bill from HMRC. He was a father. The disclosure came during the second of three oral evidence sessions held by the Loan Charge All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), a panel spearheaded by Sir Edward Davey MP, who also sponsored a recent amendment to the Finance Bill that has forced a Treasury review of the unpopular tax. The APPG also heard stories of taxpayers that have ended up in hospital due to the stress of the Loan Charge, people who have already sold their homes to pay the tax, and reported that several witnesses broke down in tears whilst giving oral evidence to the committee. “Powerful, troubling & at times harrowing”, tweeted the APPG when thanking the witnesses.
The APPG session was held on Wednesday, a day that hundreds of individuals affected by the Loan Charge marched on Westminster to lobby MPs and raise awareness to their cause in an event organised by the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG). Sir Edward Davey gave an impassioned speech in Parliament Square before the demonstration marched to the Treasury where they chanted “We want Mel” – “Mel” being Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride MP, who is widely credited with being the mastermind behind the Loan Charge and has been very vocal in defending it since it was announced in 2016. Mr Stride was unfortunately not available to meet the protesters as he was in Bristol at the handover of an HMRC regional centre.
The march ended at Downing Street where two affected families hand-delivered a box of heart-breaking letters written by the children of affected taxpayers. Maya and Thomas wrote: “Dear Prime Minister, Daddy is sad. HMRC did it.” Indy wrote: “Dear Prime Minister, I am only 13 but I know right from wrong, and the Loan Charge is wrong!”
We have compiled an online album of the letters and other photos from the demonstration which can be found here: https://myalbum.com/album/zOXNXzc8Bg7r
MPs Ross Thomson and David Davis also attended the march, as well as Sam Meadows from The Daily Telegraph.
In other news, BBC Wales covered the Loan Charge in an article entitled “HMRC Loan Charge: Self-employed fear ‘financial ruin’”, Andrew Bowie MP wrote a letter to Mel Stride voicing his concerns over the Loan Charge, taxpayers have been waiting since November for Settlement Opportunity responses from HMRC and users of a disguised remuneration scheme operated by AML are now being targeted with advertising for a new scheme claiming to be able to restructure AML loans such that they fall outside of the Loan Charge.
With the APPG and Treasury reviews due in March and the Loan Charge due to kick in in just five weeks, expect more developments next week with regards to the controversial 2019 Loan Charge tax.
1st March 2019.