Delay to loan charge review leaves thousands in limbo

A report into the controversial loan charge may not be published until after a deadline for settlements with HMRC has passed.

Up to 50,000 people whose employers had paid them through loans from offshore trusts dating back to 1999 were warned earlier this year they could face huge tax bills.

They were issued with a 5 April 2019 deadline to either settle or declare their tax bills, or face a 45% charge on all loans advanced through the schemes.

The next deadline for all settlements is on 31 January 2020, while the report was expected to be published by mid-November.

Chancellor Sajid Javid had announced the independent review to assess whether the loan charge was a suitable way to deal with disguised remuneration schemes.

Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, wrote to Sir Amyas Morse asking the leader of the review to delay publishing his findings.

Those affected had hoped the report would spare them from the settlement deadline, but it will not be published until a new government is formed.

In his letter, Norman said:

"Ministers agree it would be most appropriate for your report to be submitted to the new Government."

With the General Election on 12 December 2019, and winter recess pencilled in for 20 December to 6 January, it's probable that around three weeks will be left to publish the report before the scheduled deadline for settlements.

We can liaise with HMRC on your behalf.

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