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Contractor Loan Schemes

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Newsletter issue - October 2013

Have you taken part in a contractor loan scheme? This is a tax saving scheme which was widely sold to workers in personal service industries, such as IT contractors.

To use the scheme the individual would sign an employment contract with an offshore employer, but work for customers in the UK. The individual would often receive a large proportion of their fee for that work as a loan from the offshore employer. They were told the loan was not taxable, except for a small benefit in kind charge on the unpaid interest on the loan, but that's not what the Taxman thinks.

The Taxman has publicly announced that he is opening tax enquires into individuals' tax returns for periods during which they have used such loan schemes. In some cases the individual will receive a tax bill for the years 2008/09 to 2010/11, to collect the tax they think was avoided. There will be penalties and interest to pay on any tax found to be avoided.

If you have used a similar loan scheme to reduce UK tax, you should talk to us.