Contractors asked to prove HMRC sent letters at Christmas

Loan Charge contractors are being called to come forward with evidence that HMRC timed distressing letters demanding payment to coincide with Christmas.

MPs on the Loan Charge APPG say people facing the loan charge who received a HMRC letter just before the festivities should send a copy to evidence@loanchargeappg.co.uk.

“HMRC claim this doesn’t happen, yet it clearly does,” said the MPs, in receipt of a few copies of HMRC letters, which ‘caused great distress’ for arriving so close to the holiday.

'No concerted effort'

In line with the parliamentary group’s comments, HMRC yesterday denied there was any “concerted effort to drop letters to people ahead of religious festivities.”

It is the same for birthdays, anniversaries and bank holidays, a Revenue spokesman said, insisting “it is not true” that the department intends its demands to clash with such events.

But a Loan Charge APPG spokesman said “some” of the HMRC letters it has received from taxpayers facing the loan charge were dated Wednesday December 23rd.

'We'd prefer not to...'

Yet writing to taxpayers the day before Christmas eve appears to be explained by the HMRC spokesman, who added in a statement to ContractorUK:

“We would prefer not to send correspondence to arrive around Christmas but this is unfortunately not always possible, especially if we are approaching statutory inquiry deadlines or where the customer may have a January deadline.

“Of course, delays in the postal system around this time of the year could mean that customers receive correspondence just before Christmas.”

'No policy to cease comms at Christmas'

If evidence did emerge of taxpayers receiving its letters on the holidays (as the MPs insist), the spokesman did not answer whether HMRC would regret it or review its processes.

The spokesman for the MPs isn’t surprised. “HMRC claim they don’t do this – but it’s also clear they don’t have a policy of ceasing communication either,” he said. “So many people de facto get demands just before Christmas, which is outrageous.”

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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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