Loan charge campaigners in limbo pending further information on new review

Commenting on the Prime Minister's announcement of a 'thoroughgoing review' into the loan charge, George Bull, senior tax partner at RSM said:

'The Prime Minister's announcement of a new review into the loan charge will be welcomed by many of the campaigners who have been pressuring the Government to act.

'However, the timing of this announcement is somewhat bizarre, given that we have already passed the 31 August deadline for the finalisation of voluntary settlements and two further deadlines are looming. By 30 September, loans affected by the loan charge must be disclosed via the online portal, and by 31 January 2020, these must be all be disclosed as part of the tax return.

'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.

'In March this year, the Treasury published its report on time limits and the charge on disguised remuneration loans, which was described by the All Party Parliamentary Group as a "whitewash". 

'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.'