HMRC has referred nine cases to the IOPC where a taxpayer has taken their own life, says Minister

HMRC has referred nine cases to the Independent Office for Police Conduct where a taxpayer has taken their own life and used a “disguised remuneration” scheme, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Lucy Frazer has confirmed.

In a letter seen by The Yorkshire Post, Ms Frazer says she is deeply saddened to hear about these cases and is working closely with HMRC to improve support that is given to people in difficult circumstances.

The letter states: “If there is any indication that the contact with HMRC may have contributed to the death or serious injury, HMRC will refer the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in England and Wales, or the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) in Scotland, as required by the law governing the IOPC or Pirc’s oversight of HMRC.

It continues: “HMRC has referred nine cases to the IOPC where a taxpayer has sadly taken their own life and had used a DR scheme. Eight investigations have concluded there was no evidence of misconduct by any HMRC officer; one investigation is ongoing.

Baroness Kramer, Vice-Chair of the Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness All Party Parliamentary, said: “The next Prime Minister and Chancellor must stop ignoring the Loan Charge Scandal, a clear injustice that has tragically led to suicides."

“The Government takes this matter seriously, which is why HMRC is taking forward organisational learning from eight concluded investigations to continue to learn and make improvements to the support that HMRC provides to taxpayers who need extra help and empathetically manage these sensitive cases.”

In the letter, which has been sent to an MP, Ms Frazer said the Government had decided that the loan charge is the right way to tackle “disguised remuneration” schemes and draw a line under their use.

Ms Frazer states: “These schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of ordinary remuneration, with the sole purpose of avoiding Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.”

Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury James Murray has called for a new independent review into the loan charge and tougher action against scheme promoters who have left their victims, including NHS workers, with life-changing tax bills.

Read More

Read More
Loan charge victim 'contemplated ending their own life', MPs are told as pressur...

Baroness Kramer, Vice-Chair of the Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness All Party Parliamentary Group, said: “The next Prime Minister and Chancellor must stop ignoring the Loan Charge Scandal, a clear injustice that has tragically led to suicides. The current situation is that many people simply cannot pay the demands HMRC is making of them and without a fair resolution, such as the one proposed by tax sector professionals and backed by the APPG, there is a risk of more lives being ruined.

“We hope that whoever becomes the next Prime Minister and Chancellor shows leadership and compassion and recognises that it is in everyone’s interests to properly and fairly resolve this mess and end the nightmare for thousands of families”.

Mr Murray claimed that all Treasury ministers, from the former Chancellor Rishi Sunak down, have refused to engage with concerns about the loan charge.

He said on Twitter: “The need for a new approach and review is just as clear today as it was when I spoke with The Yorkshire Post in December last year.”

In the letter, Ms Frazer says the Government takes concerns around the wellbeing of all taxpayers very seriously and recognises the loan charge can add significant pressures for some tax payers.

The letter states: "Following Lord Morse's independent loan charge review, the Government has taken further steps to mitigate the impact of the loan charge and to ensure that the right support is in place for those who need it."

Steve Packham, Spokesperson for the Loan Charge Action Group said: "We urge those involved in the Conservative Leadership race to show leadership on this issue and start being honest about the Loan Charge and agree to a resolution before even more lives are lost."