Resolving the conflict

Michael Avient provides insight on the conflict between the right to possessions and the 2019 loan charge

In 2005, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer said: ‘A taxpayer is entitled to know with certainty… what he may or may not do in planning his affairs… [and] is entitled to be protected from retrospective and retroactive legislation’.

It is difficult to square the 2019 Loan Charge, introduced by Finance (No 2) Act 2017, Sch 13, with this statement.

The self-assessment system is built on strict time limits, which apply to taxpayers and HMRC alike. Enquiries must be opened within 12 months and in the absence of an enquiry, the self-assessment becomes final and the tax year closed. The tax year may only be reopened if HMRC issue a discovery assessment within specified time-limits.