Loans written off

Produced by Tolley
Loans written off

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Loans written off
  • What is a close company?
  • What are the implications of a close company making a loan?
  • What is a loan?
  • Tax implications ― participator only
  • Tax implications ― individual is a participator and director / employee
  • Tax implications ― individual is a director / employee only
  • Repayment of the loan
  • What happens if the loan is written off by the close company?
  • Tax implications ― close company
  • More...

Companies sometimes provide directors, employees or shareholders with low interest (or interest-free) loans either as part of the reward package or on special occasions to help the individual meet significant expenditure. The employment income implications are discussed in detail in the Loans provided to employees guidance note.

Normally, the loan is repaid, however occasionally the company may decide to write off (release) the loan, meaning the individual does not have to pay back the balance of the loan.

If the loan is made to a director or employee, the amount of the loan released will be treated as employment income. See the Loans provided to employees guidance note. However, if the loan is made to a shareholder and the company is a close company, the release of the loan is treated as dividend income and taxed accordingly (see below).

Remember that, as with any other kind of employment reward, if the loan is provided by a third party rather than the employer, it is worth considering whether the disguised remuneration provisions in ITEPA 2003, Part 7A apply, as those rules have priority over most of the other rules for taxing employment income. If there is no third party, or one of the exemptions from ITEPA 2003, Part 7A applies, then the normal rules, as described below, apply. The rules are discussed in detail in the Disguised remuneration ― overview guidance note.

What is a close company?

Broadly, a close company is a company which is resident in the UK and is controlled by (a) five or fewer participators, (b) or any number of directors who are also participators. A participator is a person who possesses, or is entitled to acquire, share capital or voting rights in the company.

These definitions are discussed in detail in the Definition of a close company guidance note. See also Simon’s Taxes D3.402.

What are the implications of a close company making a loan?

What is a loan?

A loan is the advance of money from one

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