Writing for Tax Journal, BKL tax partner David Whiscombe discusses Boyle, the First-tier Tribunal decision on a contractor loan scheme of the kind currently being challenged by HMRC.
Contractor loan schemes have been
promoted in different versions for many
years. e details have varied, but all have
involved individuals signing an employment
contract with an oshore company, which then
provides the individual’s services to an ‘enduser’
for a commercial fee. e oshore company
pays the individual a relatively small salary and
delivers the remainder of the fee (minus the
operator’s charges, of course) in one of a number
of supposedly tax-free ways, typically involving
a loan. In September 2013, HMRC announced
its general intention to challenge such schemes
and recently the First-tier Tribunal handed down
its decision in Boyle  UKFTT 723 (TC).
HMRC’s description of the decision as one which
‘comprehensively and robustly dismissed all
the arguments put forward by an IT contractor
to persuade them that his contractor loan
tax avoidance scheme worked’ is not wholly
inaccurate; but there is much more to this case
than meets the eye.