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Published on 5 February 2008
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The Public Accounts Committee in its report published today Tax Credits and PAYE reflects concern about low-income pensioners who are currently being put in debt by HMRC without their knowledge. It is not too late for HMRC to rethink and to decide that collecting tax only for future periods is the right way forward.

Published on 1 February 2008
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For four years HMRC has been writing off tax credit overpayments due to official error, but only where claimants could reasonably have thought their award was right. But HMRC’s notion of what may reasonably be expected of claimants has been widely criticised for its harshness and unfairness.

Published on 31 January 2008
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Government tax rules are hindering good government intentions to help vulnerable and disabled people live independently within the community. A new report from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group finds that more help and joined-up government are needed if the move towards direct payments and individual budgets is to be effective as it could be.

Published on 30 January 2008
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HMRC has recently announced how it will comply with regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 about IT accessibility. It seems clear that HMRC propose to do so without major involvement of disabled users which would be a mistake.

Published on 28 January 2008
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HMRC is about to go back on a promise it made to some 180,000 low-income pensioners in July 2007 that it would repay tax for up to 6 years where HMRC had failed to match data held on their computers.

Published on 22 January 2008
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Published on 4 January 2008
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While many interactions between different benefits and tax credits have positive or coherent policy effects, a substantial number are contradictory, with the granting of one benefit leading to the withdrawal, or curtailment, of another. Such interactions can make claimants worse off by entering work, or working longer hours.

Published on 3 January 2008
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As part of the reform of the tax tribunals scheduled for April 2009, HMRC has proposed an ‘internal review’ procedure to run concurrently with, or as an alternative to, an appeal. LITRG’s response to this proposal is one of qualified support.

Published on 20 December 2007
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The TUC is pressing for an increase in the national minimum wage and also for the adult rate to be adopted from age 18 rather than 22 as now. As always, taxation should be factored into the debate; but as often happens it is not explicitly taken into account.

Published on 12 December 2007
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LITRG has had enquiries from people over 50 who are receiving carer’s allowance, asking whether they are entitled to the 50 element of working tax credit (WTC) on going back to work. Our analysis says they can; HMRC disagrees.