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Published on 14 May 2024

Taxation Awards 2024 – LITRG nomination


We are delighted to have been shortlisted in the ‘outstanding contribution to taxation in 2023/24 by a not-for-profit organisation’ category at the prestigious annual Tolley’s Taxation Awards. This is especially fitting as LITRG celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023. 

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LITRG has previously celebrated success in the Taxation Awards – with awards in 2012 and 2020. This latest nomination recognises the continued hard work of our small team and is a good time to share and celebrate below the range of work undertaken over the last 12 months to support those unable to pay for advice in the tax system.

Our upgraded website

We have upgraded the LITRG website to a new platform with improved functionality and mobile navigation, refreshing our guidance in the process.

Our website is used by over 5 million people each year and we regularly get feedback such as this:

I am self-employed and was struggling with… overlap profit. This overlap profit was created 20 years ago when I had an accountant. I now do my own tax so was on my own for this. Your site was very helpful and explained about overlap profit in a way that I could understand – which did not. So thanks for all your help on this. Your website should be referred to from 

Thank you for the clarity of your articles - particularly your pdf guide to self employment. I am helping my newly-self-employed daughter to calculate her tax obligations and the advice and examples in the guide told me all I needed to know whilst using straightforward language. 

Working with officials

We meet with key officials in HMRC as well as those in other departments, government, parliament and local authorities – including in the devolved nations.

This allows for ‘early’ interactions and conversations, including us helping to join the dots between the tax, benefits, and other related systems. For example, we have been encouraging liaison between HMRC and DWP with regards to ‘side hustles’ and the fact that the trading allowance, whilst applying for tax credits, does not apply for universal credit.

Some such meetings are via HMRC stakeholder forums where we input technically and ensure our constituents’ voices are heard – for example, HMRC’s Assisted Needs Working Group. Most recently, through our membership of the Employment Status and Intermediaries forum, we have highlighted the need for HMRC to take action to close down the Elective Deduction Model.

Pension contribution ‘refund’ for low earners

We are continuing to work with HMRC and government to implement the net pay solution – an initiative secured through LITRG’s campaigning. The new scheme will mean that, from the 2024/25 tax year, over a million low paid workers will be entitled to receive a partial ‘refund’ of their pension contributions, correcting a long-standing anomaly in the pension system

Tax refund companies

We have led efforts to tackle problems with tax refund companies, which in early 2024 resulted in a meaningful change around Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) refunds/form R40 claims.

Making Tax Digital (MTD)

Our ongoing work on HMRC’s Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA) project has included inputting to HMRC’s review of small business. We also provided evidence which was quoted by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report into MTD.

MTD for ITSA will now be deferral until at least 6 April 2026, with a phased introduction based on gross income. However, we would still like HMRC to produce a free, basic software product!

HMRC service levels and move to digital contact

We have made representations on HMRC service levels, including:

  • raising important questions over the longer term impacts of reducing phone contact, for example on taxpayer compliance; and
  • highlighting practical issues relating to webchat and access to extra support, to which HMRC responded by taking on board some of our suggested improvements.

Tax education

We have delivered support and training on tax developments of interest in their areas to:

  • HMRC (including to the entire compliance operations directorate);
  • advisers; and
  • the public.

Other work helping to increase public awareness of tax issues has been delivered by engaging with the press and media – writing articles and blogs, talking to journalists about current issues and appearing on radio and television. Just a couple of our many ‘success stories’ from this work are:

  • Our press release on the high income child benefit charge was quoted by multiple newspapers.
  • Our last BBC Radio 4 Moneybox appearance was on taxation of the state pension (found on the BBC website, about 18 minutes in). This followed a blog exploring issues around tax and the state pension. This work generated lots of discussion which provided helpful evidence of peoples’ first-hand experiences when we met recently with the Minister for Pensions.

Consultation responses

Our responses have been many and varied. For example, we have helped shaped the cash basis and basis period reforms and influenced proposals on how the government will tackle non-compliance in the umbrella market.

You can find all our responses on our submissions page.

Helping to shape HMRC communications

HMRC often consult us on their content – guidance, letters, and other communications. For example, we regularly feed back on HMRC’s compliance campaign letters to ensure that unrepresented taxpayers can understand them and many of our suggestions have been taken on board.

But we don’t just wait for HMRC to come to us! In 2023, LITRG published a report on what makes good guidance, setting out 40 recommendations which received praise both from HMRC and other external parties. Changes to GOV.UK guidance have been secured as a result of the report and ongoing conversations with HMRC.

The LITRG team and our supporters

Although we are a small team, between us we have a range of backgrounds and skills; and over 200 years of tax-related experience, which we use every day to secure improvements to the tax system for the benefit of low-income, unrepresented taxpayers.

It is important to acknowledge the support given to us by our CIOT colleagues, wider institute volunteers, LITRG advisory panel and other friends and volunteers, to whom we are very grateful – thank you!

Good luck to everyone shortlisted. You can find the full shortlist on the Taxation Awards website.

Victoria Todd
Head of LITRG 

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