Richard Coombs, Tax Partner at Bates Weston, comments as HMRC clarifies loan charge liabilities.

HMRC have recently written to a group of MPs in the All Party Parliamentary Loan Charge Group to allay concerns about HMRC pursuing taxpayers over loan charge liabilities. Some of what has been confirmed had already been announced in the original HMRC guidance following the Sir Amyas Morse review of the loan charge legislation, but nevertheless to have it confirmed in writing by Penny Ciniewicz, the Director General of Customer Compliance, will be comforting to those looking for some clarity as to their position.  The main points confirmed are:

  • As long as taxpayers affected by the loan charge file their 2018/19 return by 30 September 2020 there will be no interest or penalties on any late paid tax
  • For self-employed taxpayers who do file their 2018/19 later than the usual date of 31 January 2020 then they will still be able to access the Covid-19 Self-Employed Income Support Scheme assistance package, although we are still waiting for guidance on exactly how that will work
  • There are currently no debt collection activities from HMRC in respect of the loan charge and will not be any before 30 September.  If taxpayers are contacted by an HMRC agent threatening to pursue them for loan charge debts then this is incorrect and should be notified to the loan charge team at HMRC.

With everything else that is going on at the moment, the loan charge has taken a bit of a back seat, but HMRC’s 30 September deadline is still fixed and therefore we would advise clients to ensure that they have provisions in place to pay the loan charge by this date or to contact HMRC if they are unable to afford it. ”

If you need our help to clarify your own position regarding the loan charge, please do get in touch.

See Richard’s earlier posts on the Loan Charge Review.

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is generic in nature. You should take no action based upon it without consulting ourselves or an alternative professional advisor.