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HMRC has distributed over £80 billion in fiscal aid to individuals and businesses nationwide, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

However, the PAC has noted the “quirks in the tax system” that have resulted in millions of ‘forgotten’ small firms that have not qualified for any meaningful Government aid – despite the lockdowns and tier restrictions meaning many cannot work at all. Their plight has even been debated by MPs.

The PAC has called on HMRC to respond to its independent report within six weeks, providing a detailed explanation as to why it cannot offer financial help to the millions of freelancers, contractors and small limited company directors included in the #ForgottenLtd campaign. All of whom are merely asking for parity with their sole trader counterparts that could claim the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The PAC wants HMRC to “set out steps it can take to overcome these obstacles” for the #ForgottenLtd, as well as those included in the ExcludedUK campaign, which totals approximately 10% of the UK workforce.

Rachel Flower, spokesperson, ExcludedUK, said: “The overriding call by ExcludedUK is for parity between UK taxpayers – because of the gaps in the support schemes there are an estimated three million individuals who have been excluded from accessing the schemes through no fault of their own and as a result pushed into debt and hardship.

“These individuals – and their households – need to be fairly supported in order to be treated equally and fairly with those who have been enabled to access financial support during the pandemic.”

“The Government has also systematically failed to give adequate justification as to why the gaps still exist, nor have they demonstrated any real attempts to put forward solutions or proposals to close those gaps in support.”

With the PAC report published on 20th January 2021, HMRC has until 3rd March 2021 to respond and explain the situation in full.

Date published 27 Jan 2021 | Last updated 1 Feb 2021

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