Chancellor must publish report into the loan charge immediately, say MPs

Sajid Javid Picture: JPI Media
Sajid Javid Picture: JPI Media
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Campaigners are calling for the immediate publication of a report into a Government policy which critics say breaches the rule of law.

A spokesperson confirmed that the Treasury has now received an independent report from Sir Amyas Morse into the loan charge.

The Treasury spokesman added: “We are considering his report as a matter of urgency, and will update on next steps in due course.”

On Twitter, the Loan Charge Action Group said: “The next steps for the Loan Charge report must be its immediate publication by (the Chancellor) Sajid Javid and a delay to the January 31 deadline.”

Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, has also written to the Chancellor to urge him to publish Sir Amyas Morse’s report and to extend the deadline for affected taxpayers.

In a letter, Ms Olney said: “Back in September 2019, the Government commissioned Sir Amyas Morse to conduct an independent review of the loan charge..The findings of the completed report have been withheld during the General Election campaign. I am writing to ask if the report can now be published without delay.”

David Davis. the Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden, has also written to the Chancellor, urging him to immediately publish the independent review into the loan charge and to suspend the payment deadline of January 31.

Mr Davis said on Twitter: “I will continue fighting this retrospective and unjust tax on behalf of my constituents.”

The loan charge was introduced in response to the Treasury’s concerns about what it described as “disguised remuneration schemes” which involved individuals being paid through loans, usually via an offshore trust in a low or no tax jurisdiction, which they did not have to repay.

Opponents argue that the charge is retrospective and overrides taxpayer protections - claims which have been disputed by the Treasury.

Workers from a wide range of professions have been hit with large tax bills, which in some cases date back to 1999.

Before the election, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Loan Charge (APPG) said it had received reports of seven suicides of people who were facing the loan charge.

Before the election was called, the Treasury commissioned an independent review to consider the impact of the loan charge.

MPs had previously called for all settlement activity, enforcement and penalties to be suspended pending the outcome of the review.

An HMRC spokesperson said recently: “We know that large tax assessments can cause worry and anxiety so we have put in place dedicated resources, including specially trained HMRC officers, to support more vulnerable customers.”