10 September 2020
Sir Iain Duncan Smith calls for loan charge deadline extension

Sir Iain Duncan Smith calls for a six-month extension of the loan charge deadline as HMRC is not capable of processing all the loan charge representations at the moment.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green) (Con)

Like many others in the House, I have campaigned long and hard on the unfair treatment of those suffering under the loan charge—including many in my constituency and around—and I know that the issue unites the House. HMRC has historically behaved appallingly with regard to those people, including by the retrospective nature of what it has done, but now it appears that those facing these issues have been asked essentially to put their representations in to HMRC before September—this month. The problem is that HMRC is not capable of processing all those representations now, which means that many of them will not get any justice or any help and assistance and may suffer even further financial penalties. My concern is that HMRC and the Government need to add extra months—six months more would help enormously—and I therefore make that representation, if he could pass it on to the Treasury.

Furthermore, I think it is time for us to have another debate in Government time on the process. It is vital, for our constituents to have any sense that this place represents them, for us to show that HMRC has behaved badly, leaving many of our constituents in deep financial difficulty, in depression and with some having even committed suicide.

Stuart Andrew

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to express the strength of feeling that many people in all parts of this House feel about the issue. I will of course pass on his concerns to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor. There has been extensive debate about this in the House, and we had long debates about it in the Finance Bill, of course, but it may be an opportune moment to make an application to the Backbench Business Committee, which hopefully could provide time for further discussion.