UK Parliamentarians

The All-Party Parliamentary Loan Charge Group

The All-Party Parliamentary Loan Charge Group (Loan Charge APPG) has been created to bring together parliamentarians of all parties from both Houses of Parliament who have concerns about the nature and impact of the ‘2019 Loan Charge’ which came in to force on the 5th of April 2019 and also concerns about the wider context of fairness of tax legislation and HMRC’s conduct in enforcing it.

More infos here:

Loan Charge APPG (Home page)

APPG Publications


Letters from supportive MPS

The Loan Charge in the words of Politicians

Ed Davey leads efforts to suspend the Loan Charge

Today in the House of Commons, Ed Davey, as one of the proposers of a motion on backbench business day, will call on the Government to suspend enforcement of the 2019 Loan Charge.

HMRC is currently pursuing people who, as contractors years ago, took part in perfectly legal schemes whereby they took their salary as loans from a company and therefore paid a lower rate of tax. They now face bills for arrears of tax out of the blue. In some cases, it could be hundreds of thousands of pounds. These aren’t super rich people and what they were doing was absolutely transparent and above board at the time. They are now being pursued for tax in a way that they never expected.

Closing a loophole is one thing. Making it retrospective is another. [...]

Ruth Cadbury MP: Bankruptcies, destroyed careers, and suicide – the 'disastrous' Loan Charge will affect thousands

Vice chair of the Loan Charge APPG warns that evidence shows that if the Loan Charge comes in on the 5th of April as planned, there will be a disastrous impact on thousands of people, including bankruptcies, selling of family homes, loss of careers and worst of all, there have already been some suicides. [...]

Ross Thompson on the Loan Charge

Ross has spoken out in 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 have been 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 has spoken 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. [...]

Sir Iain Duncan Smith: Government should rethink Loan Charge

Many of my constituents have contacted me regarding 'disguised remuneration schemes' and the government's resulting retrospective 2019 Loan Charge which came into effect on April 5, affecting 50,000 taxpayers. [...]

Iain Duncan Smith MP: PM must now help resolve harrowing tax tales, says former Work and Pensions Secretary

Back in April in the House of Commons, something rather strange took place.

There was a debate on what to many might have seemed an obscure subject, yet the chamber was packed with MPs of all parties.

So many wanted to speak that there simply wasn’t enough time. But one thing became clear, all of them agreed that their constituents were suffering a gross injustice.

The subject was the 2019 Loan Charge introduced in the Finance Act 2017. This is a levy on all payroll remuneration through loans made since 1999. [...]

Sir Iain Duncan-Smith asks Prime Minister Boris Johnson to review Loan Charge 2019

AN MP has written to the Prime Minister to ask him to review tax changes that have landed some people with bills of more than £100,000. The Loan Charge 2019 is a charge that the Government is introducing on loans that some contractors received instead of payment. [...]

Bob Neill MP: The Loan Charge should be scrapped - HMRC has failed every test of fairness

Bob Neill MP writes on the concept of ‘fairness’ in relation to HMRC attempting to retrospectively claim income tax from contractors paid via non-taxable loans.

The concept of “fairness” resonates strongly for most people. Behaving fairly, receiving fair treatment and getting a fair hearing are ideas that any decent person automatically signs up to.

The overwhelming majority of us sign up to the concept of 'paying your fair share'. We expect that in our personal lives - and we expect it in the way in which we pay for the public services we all use. [...]

Wera Backs Action Against the 2019 Loan Charge

Wera Hobhouse is calling for an end to the Government’s draconian enforcement of a new 2019 Loan Charge, which would mean that if you have been paid through loans since 1999, HMRC will be able to fine you thousands of pounds.

This fine will particularly affect contractors, freelancers and agency workers.

Loan Charge should be delayed says Ross Thomson MP

Following on from his question to the prime minister during Wednesday’s PMQs, Ross Thomson MP spoke to the Review about the need to delay the introduction of the loan charge. The 2019 loan charge is a government measure whose purpose is to tackle a tax avoidance scheme known as “disguised remuneration.” [...]

Zac Goldsmith MP - Zac backs calls to halt the hated Loan Charge

Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith has put his weight behind a cross-party campaign calling on the Government to stop HMRC’s Loan Charge policy, which threatens the livelihoods of thousands of ordinary taxpayers across the UK.

The 2019 Loan Charge, which has just taken effect, gives HMRC the power to charge large sums to recover tax avoided by individuals who were paid through loans which were designed never to be repaid. Critics of the Loan Charge argue that it is retrospective taxation, which punishes self-employed contractors who acted in good faith by using recommended schemes. [...]

Richard Harrington MP Shares Constituent's Concerns on the Loan Charge

On Thursday 11th April 2019, Richard Harrington MP, spoke in the House of Commons:

I would firstly like to thank my hon. Friend for Aberdeen South (Ross Thomson MP) and others for securing this important debate. I was unfortunately unable to participate last week, but I’ve caught up on it and would like to associate myself with the passionate contributions of members from across the House. It’s great to see that there is such cross-Party support for this issue, although it’s sadly perhaps not surprising given the huge number of people that are affected by this across the country.

Excellent points have been made which I would like to reaffirm. The key concerns have been well made but I would also like to share the personal concerns that my constituents have with the Treasury Minister. [...]

Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP - The Loan Charge

On Friday 28th March I again met a group of constituents (see photograph) who have been very adversely affected by being miss-sold an employment arrangement involving remuneration through ‘loans’. HMRC have now deemed such arrangements to be unacceptable when previously they were perfectly alright (they are still being miss-sold though - why?).

In my view HMRC is being unfair and intolerant with such people who were and are decent, hard-working and straightforward people who believed they were acting legally (they were) but who now are being pursued in a very aggressive and unfair way by the tax man. This is something I too could easily have done and it is unacceptable to me that my constituents are being hounded when they acted in good faith and honestly. [...]

Hugo Swire MP - Hugo signs letter calling for urgent delay to Loan Charge

Pleased to have signed this letter to HMRC calling for an urgent delay in the implementation of the Loan Charge.

MPs led by @RossThomson_MP @EdwardJDavey @RuthCadbury have written urgent open letter to @MelJStride who wasn’t able to respond to the #LoanChargeDebate. So we’re asking him to immediately announce a #LoanChargeDelay which is clearly the will of the House of Commons. [...]

Neil Parish MP condemns the unfairness of the loan charge

On Thursday 4th April, Neil Parish MP took part in a debate to express his concerns about the unfairness of the Loan Charge.

Neil stood up for the many people who may be hit by the loan charge, highlighting that its retrospective nature means it is particularly unfair on employers who entered into an agreement in good faith. Neil is particularly unhappy that individual employees could be faced with a large repayment burden, when often employees have no say over the payroll decisions of their employers. [...]

SIR GEOFFREY CLIFTON-BROWN MP SPEAKS IN THE DEBATE ON THE 2019 LOAN CHARGE

Speaking in the debate on the 2019 Loan Charge, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown calls on the Government to formalise unofficial advice given to him by a senior HMRC official that settlement for historic liabilities where HMRC no longer has assessing rights are in fact voluntary. [...]

Luke Pollard MP - Labour MP calls for suspension of the Loan Charge saying this “will cause hardship for people in Plymouth”

  • Luke Pollard MP urges Chancellor to suspend and review Loan Charge
  • MPs across all parties concerned about this policy’s impact on mental health
  • Government’s approach described as “deeply unfair” [...]

Peter Aldous MP - Waveney MP says tax avoidance scheme users believed 'everything was above board'

A number of suicides have been linked to the charge, and there are worries it could lead to mass bankruptcies.

And in the House of Commons on Thursday the government was accused of a “whitewash” in its handling of the charge after refusing calls to pause repayments or hold an inquiry into the issue. [...]

Anne Maine MP - St Albans MP forces review of Loan Charge which has driven people to 'suicidal thoughts'

For the past 20 years, contractors and self-employed people were loaned money on terms which meant it was unlikely to be repaid, rather than being paid directly.

These loans were not subject to income tax or National Insurance - until the Government decided to recoup the lost tax income in 2017 through the Loan Charge, landing thousands of people with an additional tax bill. [...]

Tom Brake MP - MP backs protest to scrap the unfair Loan Charge

Tom was one of the MPs who met with hundreds of campaigners from the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG) who travelled to Westminster to take part in the #STOPtheLoanCharge! lobby day to get the message across that the Loan Charge 2019 is unfair and will have disastrous consequences unless it is scrapped.

Thousands of social workers, teachers, doctors and nurses, as well as IT contractors face bankruptcy, anxiety and stress due to the Loan Charge, which breaks normal legal convention and allows HMRC to deliver life-destroying tax bills people cannot pay and cannot fairly appeal. [...]

John Redwood MP - My letter to the Financial Secretary about the Loan Charge

I have written to the Financial Secretary on behalf a number of my constituents who have asked for a six month suspension of the Loan Charge until a full review is conducted. They would like the review to assess the full impact this may have on individuals in respect of loan arrangements when a proper declaration of affairs was made at the time and the Treasury did not then think tax was owing. I will post his reply when I receive it. [...]

Peter Aldous MP - Taxmen going after 'easy targets' with devastating new loan charge, MP warns

The 2019 “loan charge” has been brought in by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to recover unpaid taxes from disguised renumeration schemes involving loans.

It is designed to claw back money from as long ago as 1999 from those who have purposefully evaded tax, often richer people or companies with accountants and financial advisors. [...]

Anne Maine MP - Loan Charge is fundamentally wrong

During the Finance Bill debate yesterday evening, Anne Main raised the contentious issue of the Loan Charge during her speech. The Loan Charge relates to a policy change by government that is looking to recoup unpaid tax that the government claim was due on loans paid to self-employed workers and contractors over the last 20 years.

Opponents of this policy and those that are faced with hefty bills from HMRC say they were advised to use this method of payment by financial advisers and that it was lawful practice at the time. Campaigners on the issue also say that HMRC was made aware of this practice by individuals for years but never raised an objection.

The St Albans MP has been contacted by numerous constituents who have been impacted by the change in policy – some of whom are being pursued by HMRC for hundreds of thousands of pounds and face bankruptcy.

“I have serious concerns about the retrospective nature of the tax being collected”, said Mrs Main. “Several of my constituents were advised to use the scheme as a way of keeping more of their own money. It is worth remembering that these people are not employees. They take on more risk, with no sick pay, maternity pay or other forms of support offered to an employee.” [...]

Grahame Morris MP - MP backs protest to scrap the unfair Loan Charge

Grahame Morris MP, Member of Parliament for Easington joined campaigners in Westminster calling for the unfair and retrospective Loan Charge 2019 to be scrapped.

On Wednesday 24th October 2018, campaigners from the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG) travelled to Westminster to take part in the #STOPtheLoanCharge! lobby day and meet MPs to get the message across that the Loan Charge 2019 is unfair and will have disastrous consequences unless the retrospective tax grab is scrapped. Grahame Morris was one of the MPs who met with campaigners and is supporting the calls to amend the legislation. [...]

Pauline Latham OBE, MP - Loan Charge

Thank you for contacting me about the Loan Charge. [...]

GLOBAL Coverage

The Australian Tax Office Scandal (US - Armstrong Economics)

The scandal in Australia with the head of the Tax office is shocking involving a $165 million tax-fraud ­syndicate scandal. The police have arrested people in Australia which is admirable. The 2013 US scandal about the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doing similar acts of abuse of power was never prosecuted or really investigated. It was revealed back then that the IRS had selected political groups applying for tax-exempt status for intensive scrutiny based on their names or political themes. [...]

UK Budget means Bank accounts can now be raided (US - Zero Hedge)

HM Revenue & Customs will be able to directly access taxpayers’ bank accounts in order to recover unpaid tax, under measures announced in this month’s Budget speech. The little noticed move gives HMRC similar powers to raid bank accounts and recover tax and tax credit debts in excess of £1,000.

Tax, Constitution and Supreme Court: A Review (India)

There are broadly three types of retrospective laws. The first is “retroactivity”, which is a species of retrospectivity wherein the factual and legal situation is deemed to be something which it was not. The second type may have the effect of changing the consequences of past conduct or the earlier factual situation. The third type is where the legislature interferes or takes away “vested rights”. Ronan Cormacain states the difference with clarity in his article, "Retroactivity, Retrospectivity, and Legislative Competence in Northern Ireland: Determining the Validity of Janus-faced Legislation" (Statute Law Review, 2015, 36(2) 134). [...]