On Wednesday, 24th of October, Zac Goldsmith attended a lobby day in Parliament for the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG). Zac joined a group of nine of his constituents, along with fellow MPs and hundreds of affected individuals.
At the lobby meeting, those in attendance discussed a future debate in Parliament on the Loan Charge, which Zac committed to co-sponsoring. Zac’s constituents raised with him the need for impact assessments to be made by the Treasury on individuals affected; including, how many locum doctors and nurses would fall under the retrospective changes.
Zac has previously organised surgeries for constituents and campaigners in his constituency to discuss the HMRC Loan Charge. Tens of thousands of professionals will be caught by the unfair retrospective tax rules, which will be back-dated by 20 years and encompass historical payments. The payments which are subject to the new Loan Charge rules were made under arrangements which were legal and compliant with HMRC rules, as assessed by a number of eminent QCs at the time those arrangements were entered into. Those affected include doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, and many small businesses.
Constituents and campaigners have highlighted to Zac and the Government the risk that back-dated tax collection by HMRC will force thousands of individuals into bankruptcy arrangements.
Zac agreed to sign the Early Day Motion (EDM 1239) in Parliament, which has now been signed by 95 MPs, in support of his constituents and the campaign.
“I am calling on the Government to respond to the justified concerns raised by both my constituents and the Loan Charge Action Group, in response to the Loan Charge 2019. Retrospective taxation is neither fair nor transparent. Payment arrangements which are included under the scope of the Loan Charge were legal arrangements made by tens of thousands of individuals; HMRC have also been aware of their existence for decades.”
He added: “those who will be financially penalised under the Loan Charge are not wealthy tax dodgers, they are hard-working, self-employed professionals and contractors, who have been required to enter into arrangement at the cost of paid annual leave and other benefits which are afforded to employees. These arrangements were legal, and that has been verified by specialist tax lawyers. For HMRC to retrospectively change their own regulations and threaten the viability of small businesses, risk mass bankruptcies, and take back wholesale the retirement savings of thousands of hard working taxpayers, is entirely wrong.”
Notes to Editors:
- About the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG):The Loan Charge Action Group seeks to raise awareness and reform the 20 years retrospective 2019 Loan charge introduced by HM Treasury in the 2017 Budget and to build a community, where affected individuals can find information and support. The Group does not provide any form of chargeable service, or professional advice. Visit: loancharge.info
- House of Commons Early Day Motion 1239: That this House expresses its concern at the 2019 Loan Charge; notes that it is retrospective applying back to 1999; further notes that as a result of the introduction of IR35, umbrella companies were set up and recommended by professional advisers and employment agencies; recognises that the Charge will affect contractors, freelancers and agency workers, including social workers, supply teachers and bank and locum nurses and doctors; notes that employment was not an option and in some cases the company or organisation insisted on those arrangements, including to avoid paying National Insurance; notes that these individuals did not receive sick or holiday pay; believes it is unfair that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are pursuing people who acted in good faith rather than the client organisations, agencies or umbrella companies all of whom benefited significantly; notes that HMRC are aggressively pursuing individuals through Advanced Payment Notices with no independent right of appeal; further believes that the Charge is likely to cause financial distress and bankruptcies, impeding HMRC’s ability to recover these tax liabilities and causing a devastating impact on people; believes that retrospectively taxing something that was technically allowed at the time, is unfair; calls on the government to revise the legislation to avoid significant damage to independent contractors and freelancers in the UK; and calls for the Charge to apply only to disguised remuneration loans entered into after the Finance Act 2017 received Royal Assent.