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Covid-19: 2019 Loan Charge

Volume 676: debated on Monday 18 May 2020

What assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending the 2019 loan charge during the covid-19 outbreak. (902696)

My right hon. Friend will know that taxpayers with loan charge liabilities can already defer submission of their tax return until 30 September this year. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has always worked very hard to support taxpayers who may need to help to managed their disguised remuneration liabilities, and this is no exception. HMRC will continue to offer people the time they need to settle, and of course that also applies to those who are affected by issues related to coronavirus.

In September this year, we will be in the middle of the recession that we are about to face. Given the hundreds of billions of pounds that the Treasury has already committed to supporting business to get us out of this recession, it would take a relatively trivial amount to write off the damaging loan charge policy. Originally, the Treasury forecast that it would raise £3.2 billion from the policy, and less than £2.5 billion from employees. What does the Minister estimate he will now raise?

The Treasury will have published its estimate at the time the original tax information was published. I understand the passion that my right hon. Friend brings to the issue, but I would remind him that 99.8% of taxpayers do not engage in disguised remuneration schemes, and the fact that we are supporting people across the country in their jobs and their livelihoods is not, in and of itself, a reason to let people who owe tax off the tax that is due.