Tax charity issues 2019 Loan Charge helpsheets

A charity that helps underrepresented taxpayers has stepped in where critics of HMRC say the tax authority ought to have a long time ago.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has issued a six-part guidance document to 2019 Loan Charge taxpayers, including where to get help and how to register for the September 30th deadline.

Suggesting an awareness that the debate about the 2019 loan charge has been dogged recently by the perceived lack of support from the Revenue, the LITRG announces in the guide's title -- ‘Help is Available.’

'The unrepresented'

Many have criticised HMRC for not setting up a suicide hotline, despite people trying to kill themselves because they cannot pay their bill, due to HMRC assessing it retrospectively.

The LITRG, whose mantra is ‘A voice for the unrepresented,’ acknowledges that people “may be finding it difficult to understand” the LC, and “be worried” about the April charge.

“The main thing to take away from this article is that help is available,” reassures the group, citing resources such as HMRC contacts, links to charities and a ‘find a tax adviser’ widget.

'Best course of action'

The document adds: “HMRC have a large degree of discretion when it comes to settlements. It is likely that they will be sympathetic towards those who had no real control or tax avoidance motive”.

The guidance leans towards settling (those planning to settle must register no later than Sep. 30), saying speaking to HMRC and getting its help is ‘probably your best course of action.’

'Weigh things up'

But it also outlines what to do if you cannot face speaking with HMRC; when the loan charge will not apply and when ‘taking a chance on the loan charge may be the better option.’

“Basically, you need to weigh things up and come to a conclusion about what option is right for you,” the guidance concludes. “If you feel you need support to do this, then we tell you where to get help at the beginning”.

The ‘support’ referred to is the Revenue email address for asking LC questions, requesting help or registering an intention to settle -- or for taxpayers with a low income, assistance through tax charities.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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