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Harries Watkins Jones are a Bridgend and Pontypridd (South Wales) based firm of Chartered Accountants, tax and business advisers. They pride themselves in providing high levels of service. With each and every new client, they never assume their requirements but seek to tailor their services to their individual needs.Their goal is to build a strong and sustainable working business relationship with each client and to offer them real solutions to their business problems.

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Monday, 7 February 2011

Clamp-down on Loan Schemes

There are a number of tax saving schemes marketed to freelancers and contractors, but these schemes can be sensitive to changes in the tax law. One such scheme that involves loans made though particular trusts (known as EBTs) has recently been taken off the market by various suppliers.

Under the EBT scheme the freelancer becomes an employee of the company in the scheme but receives only a small wage, which is subject to tax in the normal way. All his other income is provided as a loan through an EBT. The freelancer pays no tax or NI on the loan capital, but he is charged tax on the deemed interest on the loan, (i.e. on 4% of the value of the loan). The scheme assumes the loan will remain outstanding forever, so the capital value of the loan (which increases with each payment) is never taxed.

However, new tax legislation has been proposed that will apply a tax charge to loans provided under such schemes from 9 December 2010. The employer will be responsible for paying the tax due, as if the loan was regular salary. The tax and NI savings are thus eliminated.

This new tax legislation does not prevent shareholder/ directors taking loans directly from their own companies, or employees receiving season ticket loans from their employers. In both these cases the loan is not provided through a third entity such as an EBT, so it is not taxed as regular salary. However, tax charges can apply to both the company and the director when a director borrows from their own company. 

For specific taxation advice, or if you have a tax question you would like answered please contact neil.harries@harrieswatkins.com

For tax tips and information visit the Bridgend Accountants website or read more useful tax articles at Accountants Pontypridd.

The author does not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided in this article and recommends that you do not take any action, whatsoever, based on the information provided. By the fullest extent permitted by law, the author does not accept any responsibility for any actions you may or may not take based on information contained in this article. This article contains general information and is not a substitute for specific independent professional advice. In addition it is emphasised that much of the information provided in this article is time sensitive and information contained within it may be out of date. 

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