Frances Ball 6 Nov 2019 10:40am

Review of loan charge delayed

Commissioned by chancellor Sajid Javid, the independent review into the loan charge has been delayed until after December’s General Election

The charge will affect at least 50,000 people who used loan-based avoidance schemes, and who will now pay tax on up to 20 years’ worth of income in the space of one financial year.

The charge has been explicitly connected to a number of suicides. Yesterday, the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) that is looking into the loan charge published a survey of more than 2,000 people who face the charge and found that 40% had seriously considered suicide. A third have sought medication or counselling because of the situation.

More than 200 MPs have criticised the policy, alongside both legal and tax professionals.

The review into the charge is led by Sir Amyas Morse, formerly head of the National Audit Office.

He was asked on Tuesday by the financial secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, to delay publication of the review.

HMRC has set a January 2020 deadline for settling claims under the loan charge, prompting concerns that the review will not be in public in time.

MPs on the APPG have demanded that HMRC delays the January charge, writing to both Javid and Sir Amyas.

"It is deeply worrying, considering the mental state that many thousands of people are in and with the impact on their families, that we now have a wholly unreasonable situation where people now cannot know whether or not they will face life-changing bills in January", the APPG wrote.