UK government defies calls to restrict imminent loan charge

Thousands of people pay tax as self-employed workers or through their company without using “highly contrived tax avoidance schemes,” a minister told peers who urged the government to limit the April 2019 loan charge. The finance bill completed its second reading and remaining stages in the House of Lords after a short debate on February 8.

Labour peer Denis Tunnicliffe welcomed the government’s decision to accept a new clause calling for a forthcoming review of extended time limits for offshore income to include a comparison of those time limits with others, including those in the controversial loan charge provisions of Finance (No. 2) Act 2017.

“While the loan charge introduced in 2017 is a means of tackling certain tax avoidance schemes, [HM Revenue & Customs] has targeted individuals who joined such schemes in good faith rather than those who enabled their very existence,” Tunnicliffe said. Ministers must “listen to and implement” the findings of that review — which are required to be reported to members of Parliament by March 30 — and others required by the amended bill, he added.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), published February 11, is reproduced with permission below:

U.K. Government Defies Calls to Restrict Imminent Loan Charge (PDF)

See also related posts on the loan charge.