This statement is in response to a misleading article published in The Times, attributed to David Byers on Saturday 27th April.
The article wrongly described Phil Manley as ‘tax adviser’ to the Loan Charge Action Group. It is disappointing that Mr Byers did not contact the Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG) for a comment, a courtesy seemingly always offered to HMRC.
LCAG has no appointed tax advisers and no financial links with any advisers or firms. LCAG has not, and will not, endorse or recommend any companies or schemes seeking to circumvent the Loan Charge. We are a campaign group with the sole purpose of campaigning to raise awareness of and seek change to this disproportionally punitive legislation.
Phil Manley has supported the campaign and has generously provided advice, at no charge, on the reality of the Loan Charge and tax law to LCAG when asked to do so, along with further experts including other tax advisers, accountants and tax lawyers who have also offered support on a pro bono basis.
Phil Manley holds no formal role with either LCAG or the Loan Charge APPG, nor has he been appointed to any such role, and indeed no such roles exist. Like many people involved, he has supported the campaign against the Loan Charge because he believes it is wrong and knows, from his own clients, the devastation it will cause to many people and families. We are grateful to him for his support as we are grateful to all experts who have given advice, for free, to assist with the campaign.
The Times article also gave the impression that Phil Manley is in some way part of a ‘tax avoidance scheme’. Phil has publicly made clear that he is not a director or shareholder or part of the scheme mentioned in any way. Phil is a tax adviser and gives tax advice, which is all he has done and will do and Phil has stated that any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
It is clear that there is a concerted effort to seek to discredit those opposing the Loan Charge, especially following the exposé of serial attempts to mislead MPs and journalists. It is notable that Phil Manley is a former HMRC employee who we understand left because he was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the actions he was being asked to take as a member of the APN team. As with the HMRC whistle-blowers who have supplied information to the Loan Charge Action Group, Phil has exposed poor practice at HMRC in general and in the disguised remuneration area in particular. This is all information that HMRC and the Government would prefer is not publicly exposed.
The Loan Charge Action Group is committed to continuing to expose the campaign of misinformation by HMRC and will persist in raising awareness of further attempts to mislead, as well as continuing to campaign against the Loan Charge. We will do so regardless of attempts to cover up the truth through unfounded and misleading smears by those who would rather we did not.
Loan Charge Action Group
29th April 2019