The above heading is a valid question after our 91 attempts to speak to an HMRC helpline on which we reported two months ago. Not a happy experience. We decided to follow up this investigation by finding how easy it was to find a telephone number to contact the "tax man" in order to pay him a visit.
In our previous article we discussed the new legislation allowing deferral of your state pension in favour of a lump sum. We also outlined the effects on tax and various benefits during the period of deferment. This article seeks to explain in more detail what happens to your tax and benefits once you stop deferring and start receiving extra state pension or a lump sum payment.
In his Pre Budget speech the Chancellor announced a number of measures which will, in time, alleviate some of the harsher edges to the tax credits system, and which, for the last 18 months, we and others have been campaigning.
On Monday evening 14 November LITRG featured in BBC1's episode of Real Story with Fiona Bruce. The subject was a claimant whose overpayment nightmare turned out to have been wholly unnecessary: she was actually owed money by HMRC, not the other way around.
The government over the last few years has described the tax credits system as "simple", "responsive", and "targeted". In large parts of the system it is none of those things. Very often it does things which are unexpected and irrational if you are a recipient or potential recipient.
In our evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs on the proposed reform of incapacity benefit, LITRG calls for a comprehensive integrated approach involving tax, social security and employment services, to help promote employment for disabled people.
By the end of 2006, the Government expect to have completed its programme of migrating child elements for all Income Support and Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants to the child tax credit system. This article explains what is in the Government's latest announcement.
Members of LITRG's disability team were pleased to be invited to address the Parliamentary All-Party Group on Disability at their meeting on 11 October. This gave us the opportunity to raise awareness among parliamentarians of our December 2003 Report, Disability in Tax and Related Benefits: The Case for a Modern and Coherent Approach - the report can be accessed below.
During questioning by MPs on the House of Commons Treasury Sub-Committee, the Paymaster General (the minister responsible for tax credits) announced that, subject to final testing of procedures, automatic recovery of disputed tax credit overpayments will be suspended from the middle of November.