Loan Charge contractors get extra time to meet with Sir Amyas Morse

Contractors and other parties affected by Loan Charge 2019 have until October 14th to meet with Sir Amyas Morse to give evidence.

The head of the Loan Charge Review has extended the September 30th deadline to meet him due to the swathes of people who wish to give oral evidence or flesh out their written submissions.

Relaying the new deadline of the 14th to advisers and others as he concluded their meetings last week, Sir Amyas made clear that he wants to meet as many people who want to come forward.

‘Genuinely wants to engage’

“If people contact him, he will consider whether he wishes to and is able to meet them [but] he does appear to genuinely want to engage,” one group fresh out of their Loan Charge Review meeting with Sir Amyas told ContractorUK.

Also speaking last week having met with Sir Amyas and his team, lobbyist LCAG said that it took along five of its volunteers, including one of the operators who mans its suicide prevention phoneline.

“We welcome the fact that he has asked for evidence, including from people facing the loan charge,” the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG) said, following their 90-minute meeting with Sir Amyas.

‘Voices of the affected’

LCAG’s Steve Packham added: “We urge all those who are or who have faced the loan charge to send in your submissions, to ensure that the voices of those affected are heard, as Sir Amyas made clear he wants them to be.”

Keith Gordon QC tweeted on Thursday: “I had my meeting with Sir Amyas Morse yesterday. I believe he is engaged with the issue and willing to listen… [and he] confirmed to me…his willingness to hear from people.”

Sir Amyas is also using his meetings to ease concerns that the Loan Charge Review will not be ‘independent’ due to his team being HMT and HMRC-staffed.

‘Awkward wording’

He is also aware of accusations that he may have made his mind up already, and that the word “directly” has been inserted into the review’s remit to limit its scope.

In an online update following its meeting with the former NAO boss, tax dispute firm WTT Consulting reflected: “Sir Amyas reassured us that he was an independent reviewer”.

“[He also reassured us that he] would not be swayed by what many see as potentially awkward wording in the terms of reference of the review.”

‘Sir Amyas is his own man’

WTT Consulting’s Graham Webber added: “We are confident that he is his own man, and will make as thorough and comprehensive review of the situation as time permits.”

Factoring in today's mooting of Autumn Budget 2019 for the week commencing October 21st, the timetable for Loan Charge contractors and other affected parties is now as follows:

September 30th: Original deadline for written submissions to the Loan Charge Review remains in place. But Sep 30 is no longer the deadline to meet the reviewer and his team.

September 30th: Information Return deadline to HMRC via its online portal.

October 14th: New, final deadline for meeting with Sir Amyas Morse.

October 21st (or week commencing): Sajid Javid’s first Budget as chancellor, Autumns Budget 2019, is expected.

Mid-November: Sir Amyas Morse’s Loan Charge Review to be published (recommendations could include changes to legislation).

January 31st 2020: Loans affected by Loan Charge 2019 must be disclosed as part of the return.

‘Positives’

“The review has announced it is taking written evidence, which is very positive. It must be submitted by 30/9 and is open to anyone with an interest to do so,” a spokesman for LCAG reflected in a statement.

“[But] Sir Amyas has extended the deadline for meetings to 14/10, which again is positive.”

Anyone wishing to participate in the Loan Charge Review should first contact secretariat@loanchargereview.org.uk (which is also the email address for written submissions --  no later than Sep 30). Guidance on the process, including on any impact on loan charge contractors in correspondence with HMRC, is on offer from tax charity the LITRG.

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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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