2011 news

Published on 7 November 2011
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The Access to Work scheme is extremely valuable for those people who use it. New proposals should encourage more take-up and self-employment. However LITRG remain concerned about the lack of guidance on tax and related issues to recipients.

Published on 31 October 2011
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Many welfare benefits are to merge into a single benefit called ‘Universal Credit’ for working-age claimants, but Council Tax Benefit is excluded from the plan. Instead, the Government proposes that each Local Authority will organise its own scheme, within some basic guidelines.

Published on 28 October 2011
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In the next few days, HMRC will start sending out the first PAYE calculations for 2010/11 where they think that people have not paid enough tax in the year. This will continue up to Christmas. We have updated our comprehensive guide to enable taxpayers to take action, check their calculations and, where appropriate, challenge HMRC figures.

Published on 24 October 2011
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The Office of Tax Simplification is going to examine over the next few months the scope for simplifying the tax system for pensioners. LITRG are contributing to this effort by lending one of our staff to them and by sitting on their consultative committee.

Published on 21 October 2011
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Once again the Press have been having a go at HMRC about PAYE failures. As readers of this website will know, we are not slow in criticising HMRC when appropriate. But the current “mess” (PAYE repayments and overpayments) arises because HMRC have become more efficient rather than less so.

Published on 10 October 2011
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HMRC have today launched another “tax on undeclared income” initiative. First it was those with offshore interests, then doctors and dentists, followed by plumbers. Now, the “Tax Catch Up Plan” is aimed at people who “coach or tutor” others, which covers a wide range of teachers, trainers and instructors.

Published on 6 October 2011
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We are critical of recent proposals by HMRC to restrict tax loss relief for all businesses in an attempt to counter high risk tax avoidance practised by only a few.

Published on 30 September 2011
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The National Audit Office (NAO) recently published an important review of means testing. This focused on the design of means tested benefits considering their impacts and design and co-ordination between government departments. LITRG welcomes the NAO Report which confirms what LITRG has been saying for many years – that complexity overshadows sense.

Published on 22 September 2011
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Paper Self-Assessment tax returns for 2010/11 have to reach HMRC by 31 October 2011, otherwise you risk being charged a late-filing penalty. Penalties are now more stringent and it is no longer possible to escape an immediate £100 fine if you file late; and further penalties will be charged automatically for each day you are late over three months.

Published on 22 September 2011
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HMRC’s ‘Tax Agent Strategy’ consultation proposes to give taxpayers’ agents direct access to their clients’ records held on HMRC systems, along with the facility to make adjustments. In response, LITRG warns that HMRC must ensure that unrepresented taxpayers are not left behind.