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Loan Charge 2019: Sir Amyas Morse Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:29 pm on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 1:29 pm, 19th March 2020

I thank the right hon. Gentleman—I nearly called him my right hon. Friend, from my days on the Public Accounts Committee.

When financial advisers and accountants could not understand the law, when employers could not understand the law, and when the courts could not agree on the law until 2017, how could an ordinary layperson possibly have understood the law?

The Supreme Court’s eventual decision, overturning three decisions before it, reflects changing national attitudes on the responsibility of the taxpayer—the point the right hon. Gentleman has just lighted on. As a result, one organisation representing the professions involved explicitly changed its guidance to its members. It said:

“Members must not create, encourage or promote tax planning arrangements or structures that…set out to achieve results that are contrary to the clear intention of Parliament in enacting relevant legislation and/or…are highly artificial or highly contrived and seek to exploit shortcomings within the relevant legislation.”

In what year was that changed guidance handed out by the professions? 2017.