No To Retro Tax thanks its supporters

Dear NTRT member and supporter,

The past month has been an extremely busy one for the No To Retro Tax team and we thought members would appreciate an update on the progress of our lobbying campaign.

You will be aware that, following a series of meetings with members of the Finance Bill Committee, we were able to secure the first debate on Section 58 in the House of Commons since 2008.

This is an important milestone in our campaign and has meant that the impact of the legislation and the back demands for tax it has generated have finally been given their first hearing in Parliament. A transcript of the debate is available.

We are especially grateful to Nigel Mills MP (Conservative) for sponsoring the amendment that allowed Section 58 to be discussed by the committee, and to the others who supported him, including Robert Syms MP (Conservative), Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (Conservative), Fabian Hamilton MP (Labour) and Graeme Morrice MP (Labour).

There are other MPs who are not on the committee and who have been supportive in other ways, and we would like to express our appreciation to Pete Wishart MP (SNP), Mike Freer MP (Conservative) and Laurence Robertson MP (Conservative), who have recently asked Parliamentary Questions on the subject.

There are many of you who have questions about the short debate on the Finance Bill Committee, and in particular why the amendment was withdrawn. We have prepared a short Question and Answer section (also published on ContractorUK today, separately) which should answer most of your questions.

Regardless of the outcome of the Finance Bill Committee, the campaign continues to gain momentum. We are most grateful to everyone who has written to their MP or been to see them. If you have not already done so, please do immediately. Every letter helps - we know that as a result of the large amount of correspondence MPs have received and the meetings that have been held, the House of Commons library has now produced a research paper to help MPs understand the background to Section 58. We are also aware that David Gauke has sought to brief MPs separately about the legislation, since his department has received so many enquiries about it.

Some of our members have been able to have a face-to-face meeting with Mr Gauke in his capacity as their local MP. Their discussion, and a letter that was sent to some of our Parliamentary supporters just before the Committee Stage debate, have thrown up some interesting arguments. We will therefore be re-visiting our briefing material and the toolkit and will shortly call on members to commence a new round of letter writing activity.

Over the forthcoming weeks the NTRT campaign will be maintaining the pressure on Ministers to change their view and work towards the repeal of the retrospective element of Section 58.  We intend to do this through using our growing support amongst MPs to table questions, write to Ministers, challenge the misleading statements made by Mr Gauke, and put in for further debates and discussion in Parliament.

We are also progressing with our complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman against HMRC for maladministration, and will keep members updated on our progress.

Regards,

Alistair Renshaw

NTRT Campaign Chairman

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