‘Still plan to disclose by Jan 31, even if your would-be MPs make loan charge vows’

Parliamentary candidates for December 12th’s general election pledging to “suspend, scrap and investigate” Loan Charge 2019 does not alter the advice for contractors caught by it.

Issuing this clarification, a HMRC dispute advisory said full disclosure of the loans and white space declaration on their tax return were still advised for those facing the Jan 31st deadline.

This “position” should not be deviated from, even if contractors do get their constituency’s candidates to vow the three-fold action against the charge, suggested the advisory, WTT.

Graham Webber, the advisory’s tax director, was speaking after lobbyist LCAG urged contractors to use general election candidate lists to press all would-be MPs for their support.

'Based upon the facts'

But similar to the Loan Charge Review – which is not guaranteed to side with taxpayers, any assurances that parliamentary candidates might give will not prevent the disclosure deadline from applying.

“Our position is clear,” said Mr Webber, referring to WTT’s stance that contractors accept HMRC requiring loans caught by the charge to be disclosed on or before Jan 31st as part of the tax return.

He added: “There are many suggestions as to the range, scope and effect[s] of the Loan Charge Review and accordingly many suggested alternatives to interpreting the law.

“For our part [though, as an advisory], we have tried to be clear and base our advice upon the known facts and not some speculative or wished-for analysis or result.”

'Considered and implemented'

At the time of writing, more than 50 prospective parliamentary candidates have committed to the three-fold action against the charge, with those representing the Lib Dems in the lead.

The action which the 50 or so have committed to is to -- firstly; suspend the Jan 31st deadline to let Sir Amyas Morse’s recommendations be “considered and implemented.”

Secondly, to scrap  the charge’s “retrospective element” and finally, to, “investigate and reform HMRC” -- including the department’s powers and “lack of accountability.”

“If elected as an MP, I commit to support and vote [for these three actions],” says the candidate pledge form, signatories of which also endorse “improved parliamentary oversight” of HMRC.

'Tweet, email, ask'

The Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG) addressed contractors on Friday: “Please contact all parliamentary candidates in your constituency and ask them to sign up to this commitment.”

The group also urged: “Tweet them, email them, ask them when they knock on your door.

“Please don’t leave the action to someone else, the more people who contact their candidates the better. It really is as simple as that. By being the A in LCAG, we’ll get the Loan Charge removed for everyone.”

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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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