It seems like HMRC has no intention of taking things slower as they plan to introduce the controversial loan charge in April for cases in which those taxpayers who took advantage of the DR (disguised remuneration) schemes, have still not addressed the issue of their outstanding tax bills.
Still, the HMRC re-emphasised that they do not intend to force an individual in the sale of their homes or become a catalyst to their road to bankruptcy.
Ruth Stanier—the Director of the Customer Strategy and Tax Design at HMRC—wrote a letter to the Loan Charge APPG’s chairman, Sir Ed Davey. Ms. Stanier penned down her thoughts that the HMRC was well informed about the financial implications of the charge on a certain working class. However, she justified that a wide majority of the taxpayers who were punctual and accurate with their tax payments could deem it unfair if others were allowed to have some leeway through a tax avoidance scheme.
She further stated that they were well aware of those people who have to contend with huge tax bills and are anxious of their future. For these individuals, HMRC is committed to not force them into the sale of their homes for the tax payments pertaining to disguised remuneration. Moreover, she called these fears as “unfounded” and reiterated HMRC’s stances to avoid enforcing bankruptcy on people. Ms. Ruth also requested for the support of the Loan Charge’s APPG to reassure people.
She apprised that HMRC went out of their way and allowed scheme users to take advantage of improved terms for settlements with payment plans which extended from 5 to 7 years. She unveiled that fact the loan charge touched the lives of around 50,000 scheme users while employers and individuals allowed the exchequer to net a massive sum, higher than £1 billion.
Despite all her justifications, all of HMRC’s arguments about fairness are expected to fall on deaf ears. The ordeals of contractors and self-employed workers like nurses, social workers, and council workers who struggled with tax ultimatums go back to the 90s and 2000s. At that time, consultations from employers, recruitment agencies, and accountancy firms recommended the use of these schemes for these individuals. HMRC’s attitude with these strata has not gone quiet as the public as well as the MPs and Lords bombarded it with criticisms.