IPSE: “Doubly disappointing” government response to Loan Charge scandal

IPSE has said the government’s “sluggish” refunds for only a small proportion of contractors affected by the Loan Charge scandal are “doubly disappointing”. It has urged it to ensure all requests for refunds are processed as quickly as possible and to make certain more contractors are not entangled in disguised remuneration schemes after the changes to IR35.

HMRC Loan Charge response

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “After the damaging and unjust mess of the Loan Charge scandal, affected contractors should not have to be applying for a refund at all: they should have been automatically repaid. It is therefore doubly disappointing that the government has been so sluggish to refund just a small proportion of those affected.

“Since the government ultimately accepted the recommendations of the Sir Amyas Morse Review in 2019, it should work to ensure all refund applications from contractors who were negatively affected by the Loan Charge scandal are processed as quickly as possible.  

“IPSE are still deeply troubled by the approach government took to the Loan Charge: instead of targeting the individuals who entered into these schemes – in many cases unwittingly – it should have gone after the true villains, the promoters and providers of disguised remuneration schemes.

“Government should also look to the future: the changes to IR35 have pushed huge swathes of the contractor population into the unregulated umbrella market where disguised remuneration schemes are still being promoted. Government must clear up the mess after IR35 and ensure more contractors do not end up entangled in these schemes.”

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