Press release: Low Incomes Tax Reform Group expands COVID-19 tax and benefits guidance
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has added new material to its website expanding its tax and related benefit guidance relating to COVID-19.
LITRG’s guidance covers topics that are within the areas of expertise of its team of technical experts.
Recently-added sections give guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), support for company directors, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), advice for students and support for carers.
LITRG’s websites, while aimed primarily at those on lower incomes and unable to pay for tax advice, are used widely by people across the spectrum, including other tax professionals and third sector advisers. In 2019, there were just over 5.5 million unique visitors across the Group’s websites.
LITRG Chair Moira Kelly said:
"The coronavirus economic support guidance produced by the award-winning LITRG team1 is free to access and written so it can be understood by ordinary taxpayers without tax expertise. The main LITRG website received almost 200,000 visitors in the last week alone, with the majority visiting the coronavirus guidance."
All media outlets are encouraged both to publicise the availability of the guidance to their readers / viewers / listeners and to draw on the guidance in their own work.
The main COVID-19 contents page on the LITRG website is here. Guidance currently on the site includes:
Guidance for employers
Guidance for employees
Guidance for the self-employed
- Self-employment and paying tax
- Self-employment income support scheme
- Help for businesses in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
- Illness or self isolation
- Work changes
Guidance for individuals
- Taking money from your savings
- Taking money from your pension
- Help with paying your tax
Guidance for families
- Accessing money in childcare schemes
- High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC): What to do if your income falls
- School closures – claiming state pension ‘babysitting’ credits
- Childcare support and benefits for children
- Volunteering and job opportunities
- Scams: please be vigilant!
- Dealing with HMRC during the coronavirus outbreak
- Support for carers
Although LITRG is not able to offer individual advice or case-work help, LITRG continues to receive a high volume of website queries: these help LITRG to understand the financial issues people are finding difficult and enables LITRG to refine its guidance to reach more people. 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.
Notes for editors
1. The LITRG team won three awards at Tolley’s Taxation Awards last week -
- The LITRG Team – Best Specialist Team in a public or not-for-profit organisation
- Meredith McCammond (LITRG Technical Officer) – Rising Star award
- Robin Williamson MBE (Former Technical Director of LITRG and current LITRG volunteer) – Lifetime Achievement Award
More on these awards here.
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