Image from November 2022 vigil held at Westminster in memory of nine loan charge suicides.  Reproduced with permission from Loan Charge Action Group
Image from November 2022 vigil held at Westminster in memory of nine loan charge suicides. Reproduced with permission from Loan Charge Action Group

Loan Charge Pressure Stepped Up In Parliament

Following their open letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor, signed by over 150 parliamentarians, MPs calling for a resolution and an investigation into the Loan Charge Scandal have upped the ante by tabling an Early Day Motion, EDM 927, in parliament.  An EDM is a mechanism of tabling a motion for debate in the House of Commons, and the loan charge EDM (tabled on 06/03/23) notes the following serious concerns, that:

  1. suicides have been linked to the Loan Charge;
  2. thousands face unaffordable demands for payment;
  3. there is a risk of further suicides;
  4. most people facing action were mis-sold schemes;
  5. HMRC are demanding that scheme users repay disputed tax;
  6. HMRC have not requested action from scheme promoters;
  7. section 44 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 deems agency workers to be taxable as employees of agencies – so HMRC should have collected tax from these agencies;
  8. HMRC transferred liability to individuals erroneously;
  9. HMRC are pursuing open enquiries for schemes before 2011 despite the Morse Review conclusion that the law was unclear.
  10. The EDM also: calls on the government to work with all parties to find a fair resolution;
  11. requires a full investigation into the Loan Charge, including the conduct of HMRC;
  12. believes that taxpayer rights must be enshrined in law and enquiries closed after four years if HMRC fail to act.

The EDM has been tabled by Karl Turner who is a member of the Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness APPG, and is supported by Sammy Wilson and other APPG members.

The open letter and the EDM are both calling on the Government to change course, in light of the ten tragic suicides and to instruct HMRC to introduce a settlement opportunity, one that reflects that people were recommended to use their arrangements, were reassured that they were compliant with tax law, and that HMRC failed to act at the time.

The well-known suicide risk linked with the loan charge has been repeatedly raised with HMRC and the government, yet incredibly there has been a steadfast refusal to change course despite this.


Commenting, Loan Charge APPG Co-Chairs said:

Sammy Wilson MP, Co-Chair of the Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness APPG (DUP): 

“Over 150 Parliamentarians have now signed a letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor about the Loan Charge, which shows the ongoing serious concern in Parliament about this whole injustice. 

“We wrote to the then Chancellor about the ninth suicide and nothing changed and now there has been a tenth tragic death, we urge the Prime Minister and current Chancellor to finally listen and instruct HMRC to find a way out of the current situation, avoid further unnecessary tragedies but also to resolve this whole mess for the Government and HMRC. The Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness APPG will continue to challenge HMRC and their approach as well as calling on the Chancellor to listen and act”.  


Greg Smith MP, Co-Chair of the Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness APPG (Conservative): 

“The current approach of HMRC is not only unfair it is also dangerous. Ten suicides is ten too many and to simply continue in light of these tragedies is completely wrong.  Tens of thousands of individuals and families are with the nightmare of losing everything. Without a change in approach, there will be bankruptcies, people losing homes and alas, a strong likelihood of even more suicides.   

“It is time for Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt to listen and act and will work with the tax sector professionals calling for a resolution, to find a way out of this mess for all sides.  We hope that even more Parliamentarians will sign the letter, to show the level of concern in Westminster and to convince the Government to do the right thing and act”.   


Baroness Susan Kramer, Co-Chair of the Loan Charge and Taxpayer Fairness APPG (Liberal Democrat): 

“The Loan Charge Scandal is a huge injustice, with people being penalised for taking and following professional advice. Impacted workers and directors were mis-sold these schemes and are facing ruin, whilst those who recommended and mis-sold the schemes aren’t being chased for a penny by HMRC, despite making a huge amount of money from recommending and operating them. 


“The Loan Charge has been a policy disaster, with similar schemes openly marketed and more people at risk. The Government claim that the purpose of the Loan Charge is to ‘draw a line’ under the use of such schemes, but as well as the ongoing promotion of schemes, four years on from coming into force, many families live under the constant cloud of facing retrospective action from HMRC. The Treasury and HMRC are well aware there remains a serious suicide risk and to ignore this and to continue with the current approach is negligent, as well as immoral. We urge the Prime Minister to listen and act before any more lives are lost”.


How YOU can help

Anyone reading this should be rightly shocked that there has even been one suicide linked with a government tax policy, let alone TEN!  It is truly abhorrent that despite repeated warnings of further suicides the government and HMRC refuse to act.  YOU can help by checking if your MP has already signed the Early Day Motion, EDM 927 and if your MP is not listed please write to them requesting their support.  Thank you.


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