As reported by our friends at the Yorkshire Post, HMRC’s Chief Executive Jim Harra has officially apologised for loan charge victims being dealt with by the “serial avoiders unit” of HMRC.
The All Party Parliamentary Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness Group (APPG) said that it is unfair and wrong to label those facing the loan charge as serial avoiders because the vast majority of people facing the charge acted on professional advice and did not intend to avoid paying tax.
In his response to the MPs who signed the APPG letter, Mr Harra wrote: “I apologise for any confusion and concern that this may have caused. The Serial Avoiders Unit was created in 2014, as part of the inception of the Counter- Avoidance Directorate. Its purpose was to support customers who were involved in multiple avoidance schemes and wanted to settle; and secondly to address the most complex and high-risk customers who were persistent in their use of avoidance, being involved in a number of schemes over several years.
He continued: “The team’s work was incorporated into the Complex Customer Resolution team within the Counter-Avoidance Directorate in 2019. It appears that on a small number of occasions, outdated letterheads and/or wording were used, which erroneously referenced the Serial Avoiders Unit. I am sorry that happened.”
Updated 21/02/22: FOI shows even more disregard for Loan Charge victims
FOI from Keith Gordon’s twitter (@keithmgordon):
Keith’s accompanying tweet said: “Apparently, the only people interested in the loan charge are the ‘die hard LC crowd’. I wonder how many people fall within that definition. Please RT if you are interested.”
Wow, just as we didn’t think HMRC could possibly stoop any lower in the Loan Charge debacle. This is outrageous as well as plain rude, and very disrespectable to many thousands of people. Our message back to HMRC is that A LOT of people care about Loan Charge issues, including over 100 MPs, and we are not going away!