Delay to Controversial Loan Charge Review Leaves Thousands in Limbo

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A report into the loan charge may not be published until after the deadline for settling claims with HMRC has passed.

Up to 50,000 people whose employers had paid them through loans from offshore trusts dating back to 1999 were warned they could face huge tax bills.

They were issued with a 5 April 2019 deadline to either settle or declare their tax bills, or face a charge on all loans advanced through the schemes.

The next deadline for all settlements is on 31 January 2020.

Chancellor Sajid Javid had announced the independent review to assess whether the loan charge was a suitable way to deal with disguised remuneration schemes, and the verdict was expected to be published midway through last month.

But Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, wrote to Sir Amyas Morse a day before Parliament was dissolved asking the leader of the review to delay publishing his findings.

Those affected had hoped the review would spare them from the January settlement deadline, but the report will not be published until a new government is formed.

Norman said:

“Ministers agree it would be most appropriate for your report to be submitted to the new Government.”

With the 12 December election, and winter recess pencilled in for 20 December to 6 January, around three weeks could be left to publish the report before the current deadline for settlements.

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