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Press release: Hat trick of wins for LITRG at tax awards

Published on 20 May 2020

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has scored a hat trick at the 2020 Tolley’s Taxation Awards. The LITRG Team won the Best Specialist Team in a Public or Not for Profit Organisation award. LITRG Technical Officer Meredith McCammond won the Rising Star award and former LITRG Technical Director (and current volunteer) Robin Williamson MBE won the Lifetime Achievement prize.

LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and aims to persuade politicians and HMRC to make the tax system easier and fairer for all while making tax and tax credit information available to those who are unable to afford professional advice.

The awards recognise the breadth of LITRG’s work, especially in the past 12 months. LITRG hopes the awards will raise its profile still further among the public as hundreds of thousands of people visit its websites for advice about COVID-19.

LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and aims to persuade politicians and HMRC to make the tax system easier and fairer for all while making tax and tax credit information available to those who are unable to afford professional advice.

The awards recognise the breadth of LITRG’s work, especially in the past 12 months. LITRG hopes the awards will raise its profile still further among the public as hundreds of thousands of people visit its websites for advice about COVID-19.

Reacting to the announcement, Glyn Fullelove, CIOT President, said:

“I would like to congratulate Robin both on my own behalf and that of the Institute on his Lifetime Achievement Award at Tolley’s Tax Awards. It is thoroughly deserved, and a true mark of the respect in which he is held throughout the tax profession. It is very fitting that he received it at the same ceremony at which the CIOT’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, with which his name will always be linked, received two other awards. These were the Rising Star award for Meredith McCammond and a technical excellence award for the LITRG team; my congratulations also go to both Meredith and LITRG on these achievements.

“The financial impact of COVID-19 is worrying for many people. I hope the awards raise awareness of LITRG among low income members of the public. I strongly recommend people continue to use the free, simple and in-depth COVID-19 economic support guidance produced by LITRG, which were viewed hundreds of thousands of times last week alone.”

At the online ceremony, Tolley said LITRG is doing ‘high-quality work that really resonates with the wider tax community’. Tolley went on to say LITRG has given ‘huge support to the most vulnerable in society’ in the past 12 months.

In 2019, LITRG’s websites attracted more than 5.5 million unique visitors. The high demand for LITRG’s work continues today, partly because of the financial impact of COVID-19. In the last week (from 11 to 17 May 2020 inclusive) LITRG had nearly 200,000 website visitors the majority visiting its guidance about COVID-19. The most popular pages are unsurprisingly the news and guidance articles about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Furthermore, LITRG factsheets on a variety of topics were downloaded 5,571 times last week.

Tolley’s awards ceremony was held online this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, last Thursday (14).

Tolley talked about Meredith’s ‘fantastic work in explaining the impact of the Loan Charge on vulnerable members of society, as well as playing a key role in the wider tax community’.

After the event, Meredith said:

“I am proud and happy to have won the award. Having worked abroad in various guises, I know what it is like to feel completely lost and confused when it comes to trying to navigate new working practices and ‘alien’ tax systems. I care passionately about my work especially around the labour market, and I am grateful to use my tax skills and knowledge in this way.”

Robin spent 15 years at the helm of LITRG. Robin is also a former Senior Policy Adviser, Office of Tax Simplification.

Accepting the award in a pre-recorded video, Robin said: “Few accolades are as satisfying as the kind we receive from our own colleagues’ and it gives him more pleasure than he can say to accept the award. The last 40 years in law and tax have been a ‘fascinating’ time, he said. He has been very lucky in working and meeting many good people in the profession and the Government, he went on to say. Robin hopes his work has developed tax law and policy in a way that benefits individual taxpayers. He added that he takes ‘particular joy’ at witnessing the tax charities grow from small beginnings to an ‘influential force for good.”


Notes for editors
1. LITRG’s website brings together all its tax and related benefit guidance relating to COVID-19. Our guidance covers topics that are within our area of expertise, but we have also put together links to other websites that cover a wider range of information that may be helpful at this time. LITRG’s guidance covers:

  • Guidance for employers
  • Guidance for employees
  • Guidance for the self-employed
  • Guidance for individuals
  • Guidance for families
  • Other guidance

Click here for the guidance.

2. Low Incomes Tax Reform Group
The LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. The CIOT’s 19,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

Contact CIOT External Relations on 0207 340 2702 / Out of hours contact: George Crozier, 07740 477 374

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