LCAG Media Release 28th January 2019

 

LCAG is delighted to report that an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Loan Charge has been officially established to raise concerns about the 2019 Loan Charge. 

It aims to address how the Loan Charge will affect thousands of freelance, contract and locum workers in the UK, as well as the wider context of fairness of tax legislation and the conduct of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

LCAG has been campaigning for reform to the Loan Charge 2019 legislation, calling specifically for repeal of its retrospective aspect which has the potential to bankrupt tens of thousands of contract workers.

The House of Lords stated in its Economic Affairs Select Committee report of December 4th that the Loan Charge “undermines basic principles of tax fairness”.

Whilst the commitment to form an APPG is a significant development for our campaign, these are informal cross-party groups run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords who join together to pursue a particular topic or interest. An APPG operates in an advisory capacity but cannot actually change law.

The Loan Charge APPG will be chaired by Sir Edward Davey (Liberal Democrat) with cross-party MPs and Peers as Co-Vice Chairs and officers.

LCAG spokesperson Steve Packham welcomes the commitment to form a Loan Charge APPG saying:

“It is particularly heartening that LCAG have been appointed as Secretariat to the group, recognising not only the work we have done in building the case for reform of the retrospective aspect of the Loan Charge, but also the plight of our many members caught up in this ill-considered and unfair tax legislation.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Media Contact: Mark Sebright – marks@imagenuk.com / 07988 680796

1.  About the Loan Charge Action Group: The Loan Charge Action Group seeks to raise awareness and reform of the retrospective IR35 tax charge introduced by HM Treasury in the 2017 Budget and build a community where affected individuals can find information and support. The Group does not provide any form of chargeable service or professional advice. Visit hmrcloancharge.info

2. The report of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (4th December 2018) is mentioned here https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/economic-affairs-finance-bill-sub-committee/news-parliament-2017/powers-report/ and the full report is here https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldeconaf/242/24202.htm

3. LCAG members’ survey: In summer 2018, LCAG surveyed 500 of its members about the impact of the Loan Charge and the following were the responses as to how if was affecting people:

Depression / Anxiety / Mental health impact: 68%
Bankruptcy: 71%
Loss of residence / home: 49%
Divorce / Relationship breakdown: 31%
Loss of career: 30%
Suicidal thoughts / self-harm: 39%

4. House of Commons Early Day Motion 1239: That this House expresses its concern at the 2019 Loan Charge; notes that it is retrospective applying back to 1999; further notes that as a result of the introduction of IR35, umbrella companies were set up and recommended by professional advisers and employment agencies; recognises that the Charge will affect contractors, freelancers and agency workers, including social workers, supply teachers and bank and locum nurses and doctors; notes that employment was not an option and in some cases the company or organisation insisted on those arrangements, including to avoid paying National Insurance; notes that these individuals did not receive sick or holiday pay; believes it is unfair that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are pursuing people who acted in good faith rather than the client organisations, agencies or umbrella companies all of whom benefited significantly; notes that HMRC are aggressively pursuing individuals through Advanced Payment Notices with no independent right of appeal; further believes that the Charge is likely to cause financial distress and bankruptcies, impeding HMRC’s ability to recover these tax liabilities and causing a devastating impact on people; believes that retrospectively taxing something that was technically allowed at the time, is unfair; calls on the Government to revise the legislation to avoid significant damage to independent contractors and freelancers in the UK; and calls for the Charge to apply only to disguised remuneration loans entered into after the Finance Act 2017 received Royal Assent. For full register of MPs supporting Parliamentary motion see https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1239