Making Tax Digital for VAT (Economic Affairs Committee Report) - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:55 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 4:55 pm, 29th April 2019

My understanding is that the tax now due accrued over a period of time, and was payable in the year in which it was accrued. That has been consolidated and crystallised into the loan charge. If I am wrong, I will write to my noble friend.

The Government are committed to tackling the promotion of tax avoidance and that is why HMRC has been investigating more than 100 promoters and others involved in marketing tax avoidance, including many who sold disguised remuneration arrangements. HMRC recently won a legal case, mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Kramer, over a contractor loan avoidance scheme promoter, Hyrax Resourcing Ltd. This will help collect over £40 million in unpaid taxes.

The charge on disguised remuneration loans has been criticised by those who say that it ought to be the employer who has to pay the tax that is outstanding. I agree, so let me be clear that HMRC will seek to collect the loan charge from employers in the first instance, and will pursue individuals for the tax due only where it cannot reasonably do so from the employer; for example, if the employer is no longer in existence or is offshore. In those cases, HMRC seeks to collect the tax liability from the individual who benefited from the tax avoidance.