Investors using the popular online financial investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) may not have heard that the 'loyalty bonuses' they receive from HL have been deemed by the Upper Tribunal (UT) to be taxable income in the hands of the recipients and therefore subject to withholding tax for Income Tax purposes.
HL argued that the bonuses were rebates of management charges, but HM Revenue and Customs were successful in persuading the First-tier Tribunal that they represent a continuing source of income.
HL appealed that decision to the UT and lost.
The practical effect for many investors will be the need to remember to enter the total of the loyalty bonus and tax withheld on their tax return each year. However, for higher-rate taxpayers, a further tax charge will arise.
It is likely that this decision will be further appealed.