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Comment: In defence of the ‘outstanding loan’ charge

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The Finance (No. 2) Act 2017 introduced rules that bring employment-related loans made by third parties after 5 April 1999 within the charge to employment tax, under the disguised remuneration rules, if they remain outstanding on 5 April 2019. It is argued that it is wrong to put a taxpayer at risk of a charge to tax on the benefit of an historic arrangement which was fully disclosed to HMRC in, or in respect of, the tax year in which it was entered into and which HMRC chose, for whatever reason, not to challenge. However, while the loan remains outstanding, affected taxpayers continue to receive a defined and ongoing benefit which is a legitimate target of the government in seeking to ensure that all taxpayers are dealt with fairly.
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