Sir Jon Thompson, the HMRC chief executive, contacted the LCAPPG (Loan Charge All Party Parliamentary Group) and expressed concerns pertaining to news regarding taxpayers’ suicides. These suicides were reportedly triggered due to large tax bills which have been sent to the taxpayers for DR (disguised remuneration) schemes.
Thompson said that for HMRC, the customer welfare comes at first. However, they are finding it hard to get details about those individuals despite repeated requests and thus are unable to provide these details to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
He emailed to Ed Davey—the APPG chair—and Ruth Cadbury and Ross Thomson—the APPG vice chairs. In the last November, the LCAG first revealed how an individual committed suicide due to the impending liabilities. Afterwards, several references for suicide were made by the LCAG and others on the social media. Sir Jon unveiled that an individual contacted them via the complaints process.
Sir Jon explained that they contacted many individuals and requested the LCAG to provide them with the relevant information but they did not receive anything which can establish that the loan charge was behind the suicide of any individual. Therefore, HMRC has refused to acknowledge that they have done anything wrong.
Ross Thomson—the APPG vice chairman—talked on this matter in the last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions. He urged Theresa May to interfere in these proceedings before a new suicide report emerges. He further said that last week the MPs heard about the gut-wrenching story from the family members of an individual who was pushed to the corner due to the loan charge and took his own life. According to Thomson, the retrospective tax has put several families in danger throughout the UK.
The Loan Charge Action Group supported Thomson’s claim. The group was originally founded last year in March. The founders were three taxpayers who were affected due to the DR schemes.
The group expressed concerns for the case of thousands of freelancers and contractors who were dealing with stress, anxiety, and bankruptcy due to the Loan Charge. According to the group, the Loan Charge “breaks normal legal convention and allows HMRC to impose a retrospective 20-year tax grab for arrangements that were legal and declared to them at the time.”
A survey by the LCAG illustrated the fact that around 68% individuals who faced the Loan Charge were battling anxiety and depression. Similarly, around 39% were facing suicidal thoughts.