Calls to suspend loan charge following PM’s revelation of a ‘thorough review’

Amid heated exchanges during Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson confirms review as MPs demand all loan charge settlements must be suspended until the results are known

The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) of MPs investigating the impact of the controversial loan charge regulation has demanded that all settlements should be suspended pending the result of a review announced by the prime minister yesterday.

The group also revealed that an HMRC official has already informed one taxpayer that they will be taking ‘no further action’ while they wait for further advice on how to proceed.

Writing to Boris Johnson, the APPG said: ‘We urge you now to tell the Chancellor that an announcement must be made that settlements and all APNs [advance payment notices] related to loan schemes subject to the Loan Charge are suspended, pending the review.’

The MPs also demanded that the review, announced in response to a question from MP Ross Thomson, would be an independent inquiry.

At the same time, families affect by those that have taken their own lives while facing a loan charge have also written to the prime minister calling for a suspension of the charge.

George Bull, RSM’s senior tax partner, called the timing of the announcement ‘bizarre, as the voluntary settlement deadline had already passed on 31 August.

He said: ‘Without further details on the terms of reference and the crucial question of whether the loan charge policy will be suspended pending the outcome of this review, campaigners will need to keep the champagne on ice.

‘To date, the Treasury has only said that it would “set out further details in due course”. This is less than reassuring and leaves the estimated 50,000 people subject to the loan charge in limbo.

‘Whatever the outcome of this new review, if it means MPs will need to revisit the legislation, then it is imperative that they do so this time with a complete understanding of the consequences of their decisions. This whole sorry saga has been a salutary lesson on how not to enact new tax legislation.’

​By Philip Smith

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