Treasury told to delay Loan Charge 2019

HMRC’s new policy not to take people’s homes to pay Loan Charge 2019 seems to have come too late, as contractors yesterday said they had made themselves homeless already.

As well as people pre-emptively selling their homes to pay HMRC, the Loan Charge APPG heard yesterday from the family of a taxpayer who, facing the charge, committed suicide.

“This revelation must lead now to the Treasury announcing a delay,” the group said last night in a series of tweets about their evidence session, held after a mass protest against the charge.  

'Time to listen'

Reaching out on Twitter to chancellor Philip Hammond and Treasury minister Mel Stride, who declined to meet the protestors, the APPG told them both: “It’s time to listen.”

“We’ve been told of cases where people ended up in hospital due to the stress of the loan charge”, added the group, which is chaired by Sir Ed Davey, who addressed the protest.

The Liberal Democrat MP said: “It’s pretty clear that ministers and HMRC don’t realise that some of you had your tax affairs closed.

“And by law, going back to the 1970 Taxes Management Act…they can’t reopen those years. And any attempt to do so would be a breach of, I think, constitutional principle.”

'Several in tears'

Meanwhile, to highlight the sheer distress and destitution the charge has caused, the APPG revealed: “We’ve had several witnesses break down in tears at today’s…evidence session.”

One of the witnesses to give evidence yesterday was a former HMRC contractor – the individual reported over the weekend as proof the taxman hired those whom he now pursues.

Identifying itself as the “MP panel” cited in the report, the APPG told ContractorUK: “[We] felt it was important to expose the reality of the fact that HMRC contractors are involved.”

'Unconstitutional'

Due to the “huge interest” in their inquiry from affected parties, the group has now extended the deadline for people  -- and professional advisers -- to submit evidence, until March 6th.

Last night, one adviser WTT Consulting seemed to side with Mr Davey in reflecting on the protest in Westminster, which at one stage assembled outside the offices of HM Treasury.

The firm said: “Another remarkable show of support at the demonstration held by the Loan Charge Action Group, raising awareness of the issues with the loan charge [and] its unconstitutional nature”.

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