Some Christmas Cheer for Contractors

Posted by on Dec 21, 2019 in News Alerts, Newsletters | No Comments

The Government to roll back the impact of the Loan Charge on thousands of contractors.

The Government has agreed to some radical amendments to the controversial Loan Charge disguised remuneration policy. These changes will take some 11,000 contractors outside of the scope and reduce the tax bill for around 20,000 others.

The Loan Charge was aimed at 50,000 contractors, mainly in the IT sector, who worked under loan schemes between 6th April 1999 and 5th April 2019.

However, after the publication of an independent review by the ex-head of the National Audit Office, Sir Amyas Morse, the Government has recognised the concerns raised about the impact on individuals and fairness of some aspects of the Loan Charge.

The Government has accepted all but one of the recommendations in the report and will:

  • make changes so that the Loan Charge will now only apply to loans taken out on or after 9th December 2010. This is the point in time when the review concluded that HMRC had made it clear that tax was due;
  • not apply the Loan Charge to users of loan schemes between 9th December 2010 and 5th April 2016 who fully disclosed their schemes on their tax return and where HMRC failed to take action;
  • allow those still impacted to defer filing their returns and paying their Loan Charge liability until September 2020;
  • allow the loan balance to be split over three tax years to make bills more affordable;
  • invest in a new HMRC team to collect tax from those who used the avoidance schemes pre-2010; and
  • direct HMRC to repay parts of some settlements reached where the taxpayer had voluntarily paid amounts due for earlier years.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, has commented “We welcome this careful and considered report, and I thank Sir Amyas and his team for their work.  There have been important public concerns about this policy, and that is why we commissioned this report and have responded so quickly to it.”

New guidance will shortly be published by HMRC to help the users of loan schemes understand the impact on their circumstances. In addition, there will be guidance on how to defer the filing of the 2018-19 tax return and the payment of the tax due until the end of September 2020.

As soon as we have the details, we will post an update accordingly.

At CooperFaure, we are working with a portfolio of clients who have operated under loan schemes and would be pleased to review your circumstances.  You can book a free initial call with us at a time convenient for you by clicking the ‘Schedule a meeting with us’ button on the home page of our website.