Following the recent undertaking by the Prime Minister for an independent review of the loan charge, the Chancellor has now commissioned Sir Amyas Morse to complete the review in advance of the 2018/19 tax return deadline.
The ‘loan charge’ applies to all outstanding third party disguised remuneration loans made since 1999 which, if they had been made on 5 April 2019, would have fallen within the disguised remuneration rules
- It will be made up of income tax and NIC in respect of the 2018/19 tax year.
- It will apply to anyone who has outstanding disguised remuneration loans and who has not settled their position with HMRC (except where a settlement is in progress, see below).
Sir Morse is the former Comptroller and Auditor General and Chief Executive of the National Audit Office and in conducting the review he will be supported by a team from HM Treasury and HMRC. His report is due by mid-November. The review will consider:
- whether the charge is an appropriate way of dealing with disguised remuneration loan schemes
- whether changes announced by the government before and after the charge came into effect address any legitimate concerns raised about the impact on individuals, including affordability for those affected.
HMRC have issued additional guidance on the review advising taxpayers affected that:
- If you have already settled your scheme and paid the amount you owe in full the review does not affect you; there is no change to your tax position at this time.
- If you have settled your scheme use but are paying in instalments; there is no change to your tax position at this time and you should continue making your instalment payments.
- If you provided all required information to HMRC by 5 April 2019 and are waiting to finalise your settlement you can continue to do so if you so wish. HMRC recognise that you may want to wait for the government’s response to the review before finalising your settlement.
- If you are not settling your scheme use you still need to complete the loan information return by 30 September 2019.
- The review of the loan charge does not affect routine HMRC activity relating to disguised remuneration schemes, including Accelerated Payment Notices and ongoing litigation.
- HMRC will update their guidance once the government has responded to the review.
The message from HMRC is clear: despite the review, those who have outstanding loans from disguised remuneration schemes and are not in the settlement process (if they have not already settled) must meet the 30 September deadline for reporting their loans to HMRC or face penalties.
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