Post Office: ICT

Department for Business and Trade written question – answered on 30 March 2023.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Labour/Co-operative, Walthamstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she will take steps to ensure that claimants under the Post Office (a) historical shortfall scheme and (b) suspension remuneration review will receive a similar tax exemption to that available to group litigation order compensation scheme claimants through the Post Office Horizon Compensation and Infected Blood Interim Compensation Payment Schemes (Tax Exemptions and Relief) Regulations 2023.

Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)

The Historical Shortfall Scheme’s intention is to ensure all victims of the Horizon scandal are returned to the financial position they would have been in had the wrongdoings not occurred.

An issue has been identified on the tax treatment of some postmasters with claims for loss of earnings under the HSS, particularly those with larger claims, where postmasters may be pushed into a higher tax bracket due to receiving compensation in a lump sum as opposed to receiving those earnings over several tax years. The Department for Business and Trade wants to see fair compensation for all victims and is working urgently to address this issue with the Post Office, HMT and HMRC.

The Department for Business and Trade is aiming to ensure that tax treatment is fair across all schemes, including the Suspension Remuneration Review.

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