Skip to main content

Tax Avoidance: Suicide

Question for Treasury

UIN 62866, tabled on 25 October 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people who were liable for the Loan Charge have taken their own lives.

Answered on

9 November 2021

The Government takes concerns about the wellbeing of all taxpayers seriously and recognises that the Loan Charge can add significant pressures for some taxpayers.

Following Lord Morse’s Independent Loan Charge Review, the Government has taken further steps to mitigate the impact of the Loan Charge and to ensure that the right support is in place for those who need it.

HMRC operates a settlement helpline and a debt helpline for taxpayers who have used disguised remuneration avoidance schemes. All call handlers are trained to identify taxpayers who might need additional support. For taxpayers who need specialised help, HMRC advisors suggest they contact organisations like Samaritans or Mind. The Government is working with HMRC to consider what additional specialised support could be provided to taxpayers who need extra help.

HMRC has referred eight cases to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) where a taxpayer has sadly taken their life and used a disguised remuneration scheme, as required by the law governing the IOPC’s oversight of HMRC. Following referral, HMRC has conducted independent investigations and the completed investigations have concluded that there was no evidence of misconduct by an HMRC officer.

Any loss of life is a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the families of those affected.

Answered by