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Loan Charge: Support

Volume 685: debated on Tuesday 1 December 2020

Revenue and Customs has been clear on its commitment to support all taxpayers who might need help paying their loan charge liabilities. Where someone cannot afford to pay in full on time, it will seek to agree payment by instalments. Revenue and Customs has a dedicated helpline for those seeking to leave avoidance schemes, and the disguised remuneration and debt management teams are trained to identify taxpayers who may need extra help and support, and to refer them, if necessary, to outside organisations for support.

As my right hon. Friend rightly recognises, there are a number of people who cannot pay the amount either in full at the beginning or in instalments. Given that HMRC has now recognised that many of these people were victims of mis-selling, is it not time to have another review of the people who have been mis-sold these schemes, and would it not be right and appropriate for those who mis-sold the schemes to make some contribution to those demands?

As my hon. Friend will be aware, a long and detailed review process has been conducted by Sir Amyas Morse. It is, of course, the individual’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their tax returns and to understand the consequences of their decisions, although of course the Government very much sympathise with people who have been caught in that position. My hon. Friend may have noticed that we have been taking very vigorous action against promoters of tax avoidance schemes—most recently, in an announcement we made last week, HMRC and the Advertising Standards Authority are getting together to crack down on misleading promoting of tax avoidance schemes.

Following the loan charge review, the Government promised in March that this year would bring both legislation and the announcement of additional policy measures against those who promote tax avoidance schemes. As neither has happened, will the Minister confirm when the promised changes will become law?