Contractors hit back at tax avoidance crackdown
Social and health workers and IT contractors have submitted a petition to parliament demanding HMRC stops pursuing them over tax avoidance. The Revenue is seeking money owed by almost 100,000 contractors who used “disguised remuneration” and similar schemes going back to 1999 that involved avoiding NI or income tax. Some are thought to face bills of up to £900,000. The contractors, most of whom work in IT or healthcare, claim that they were duped into believing that the schemes were within the law. Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd is demanding changes to the new Loan Charge law, due to come into force in April, which will levy heavy penalties on top of retrospective taxation demands. On behalf of workers, he has submitted a petition to parliament claiming that the loan charge "will affect contractors, freelancers and agency workers, including social workers, supply teachers and bank and locum nurses and doctors". It complains that it is "unfair that HMRC is pursuing people who acted in good faith rather than the client organisations, agencies or umbrella companies" that ran the schemes, "all of whom benefited significantly".
Source: The Times (12/05/2018)