The Loan Charge Action Group (LCAG) is a not-for-profit (NFP) organisation.

In March 2018, the founding members – Richard Horsley, Andrew Earnshaw and Steve Packham – set about raising awareness of the 2019 Loan Charge with the help of a number of other contractors. The aim was, and remains, to create a community where those affected could share information and resources and ideas. This became the officially incorporated NFP organisation called LCAG.

The LCAG now has over 1000 active members spanning most sectors of the UK, including NHS workers, teachers, public sector agency staff, power, gas and oil industry contractors, as well as IT, digital and banking sector specialists.

 

About Richard Horsley

Richard Horsley is the LCAG’s key spokesperson and one of its founder members.

A father and keen cyclist, he has spent over thirty years in IT supporting many of the UK’s service industries.

The punitive charges introduced by HMRC’s retrospective tax legislation have had a major impact on Richard’s personal and professional life.

Spurred on by this injustice which is both far-reaching and affects many thousands of others, he is now a highly motivated and avid campaigner for all freelancers and contractors impacted by the 2019 Loan Charge.

 

About Andrew Earnshaw

Andrew is a founder member of the LCAG. He is an IT professional with over thirty years’ experience working within financial services at many large institutions.

The 2019 Loan Charge and its related legislation has had a devastating impact on Andrew’s personal and professional life: a mental breakdown, time off work and a total change in working environment due to on-going mental health issues.

He is seeking a fair resolution of the 2019 Loan Charge for all those affected.

 

About Steve Packham

Steve is a founder member of LCAG. He is a financial services professional with over thirty years’ experience in business development, change and project delivery at many large institutions.

The 2019 Loan Charge will have a devastating impact on Steve’s personal and professional career, with life-changing consequences.

He is campaigning against HMRC’s punitive retrospective tax legislation on behalf of the thousands of freelancers that add substantial value and revenue to the UK economy, and to ensure that there is proper government protection in place – rather than persecution – for these vital contributors to the country’s growth.

If you are struggling to cope with everything that the 2019 Loan Charge brings, you are not alone.

Please read our excellent article below by Helen Stone.

Support & Counselling

JH

March 2018

As I am writing this I do not know what will happen to my family when the Loan Charge comes into play next year. My husband will be bankrupt and we will lose our family home. I do not know where we will live and I do not know how we will find a new source of income that can support our four children. I have to fight this and I cannot do it alone, I have tried and one voice just does not have the impact needed.

Anonymous

I have always been an honest and hard-working citizen, paying my dues and taxes every year and seeking to make a living to support my family. I am now being penalised and my livelihood decimated due to the inept and inefficient manner in which HMRC conducts itself.

Anonymous

I made an offer for payment terms. The APN team refused my offer because they said to accept the amount I had offered would put me in financial difficulty. Despite stating that they knew I could not afford what I was offering on a monthly basis, they would not discuss a lower amount as it would take too long to pay off. In the same letter they then proceeded to demand full payment immediately!

This was then passed to the DMB team and penalties were applied – because I couldn’t afford to pay they then added on extra amounts that I also couldn’t afford to pay!

I am currently on anti depressants which I have been taking for the past year, I have had counselling for the stress I am under and this is all because of the impending Loan Charge. I have considered suicide in my darker days, to the extent of researching my life insurance to see if it would pay out if I ended it all. It is only the support of my family and counselling which has stopped me taking this option.

I started contracting so that my husband could be the ‘stay at home parent’ to give our son the stability he needs as he has additional needs, and now because of that decision I am going to basically ruin his life.

As an ultimate injustice the 2019 Loan Charge has a retrospective effect, essentially allowing HMRC to tax loans in unprotected years. This hides HMRC's lack of action and hits the easiest target in the chain, for far more than the full tax [in any affected year] would have been, whilst allowing others that benefited to walk away free.

The 2019 Charge will bankrupt me, most likely meaning I will lose my home and certainly meaning I won’t be able to work again in financial services. I have three young children and am afraid of what future I can give them. In my darkest days I think there is only one way out of this whole mess. It’s on my mind day and night and I feel physically sick with worry almost all of the time.

I feel let down by HMRC for not warning about these 'umbrella schemes' sooner. And I feel scapegoated as it’s easier to go after the ordinary workers, albeit short-sighted, as I will be bankrupted and HMRC will receive nothing.

In 2013 I received a Discovery Assessment from HMRC demanding a payment of more than £10k. I was only given 3 weeks to pay until interests occurred. This almost ended my marriage!

I paid the requested amount in order to put an end the threatening letters and lost all my savings once again. An appeal was lodged, however to this day, no response has ever been provided by HMRC.

HMRC did open some investigations on certain tax years. The accountants assured me was very normal and that they would take care of any questions. As the years went by, I grew totally comfortable with these reassurances and the lack of any progress in the HMRC investigations led me to believe that it was only a matter of time before HMRC would close the them, having found no irregularities. This also gave me confidence to continue using the umbrella company schemes year after year.

I would like to know if, as they say, "HMRC always maintained these schemes do not work", then why did it take them more than a decade to let me know, thereby running up a liability that will leave me homeless, jobless and bankrupt!

My stress levels are permanently dialled up to 11. The 2019 Loan Charge is seeping into every area of my life, I am consumed by it. I find it difficult to concentrate on anything else; it keeps me awake at night and infiltrates my dreams when I eventually manage to drop off. I am exhausted. I cannot take much more of this. I find myself sitting alone at home crying as the reality of the 2019 Loan Charge hits me.

I am not a 'tax dodger'. I married a man who acted on the advice of professionals and we are horrified to find ourselves in this position. I cannot retrospectively not have my children or retrospectively not give up my job to be a full time mum. So how can it be reasonable to retrospectively tax us in this manner?

I find it incredible that HMRC have made no effort to take action on the providers, shut the schemes down or make any effort to contact victims. All this despite HMRC claiming they have known all along, but not publishing anything until 2016 (Spotlight issue 33) that schemes ‘may not work’, and by introducing the retrospective loan charge.

The loan charge has already had a debilitating effect on my mental and physical health. The approximate liability will bankrupt me and the sums do not bear any relation to the actual tax position or indeed reflect where the liability should lie. Bankruptcy for me will result in being unemployable in the future. This is an unfair and unjust situation, as the root cause of the issue points firmly at HMRC and the UK government.

This all began in 2007 when I went to Chartered Accountant for advice on becoming LTD company. He convinced me that IR35 was serious risk for freelancers and that I should consider an offshore EBT employer scheme provider as he had a number of clients using this service and they were very happy.

I am also worried that being 64 I will not be able to retire or have any money for our old age. Which means we could be dependent on benefits if HMRC take all our money.

The way HMRC have behaved is nothing short of shocking. It will go down in history as one of their darkest times and never to be repeated.

Their behaviour pretty much goes against what a modern society is looking to achieve.

Another Testimonial