When HMRC is notified that an individual has taken their own life, and had contact with the customer at the time, or shortly beforehand, its standard process is to refer the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct within 24 hours of the notification.
On Monday 18 March, HMRC was informed that a customer had, very sadly, taken their own life. The department had previously been told that the individual had used disguised remuneration schemes. Out of respect for the family, and given HMRC’s statutory duty of taxpayer confidentiality, it is not in a position to comment further.
Suicide is a complex issue and there is rarely a single cause. It is important to emphasise that it will be for a coroner to determine any cause of death, not HMRC. The department will, of course, co-operate fully with any inquest.
As Sir Jonathan Thompson KCB, HMRC Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, said in his 13 March 2019 letter to the Loan Charge All Party Parliamentary Group, at that time HMRC was aware of reports but did not possess information that enabled it to identify a named individual.
An impact assessment was published when the measure was announced at Budget 2016. The Government will also publish a report that will set out the rationale for, and impact of, the policy before 30 March 2019.