16 February 2004
A recent survey of members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation indicates that a substantial majority (71%) have encountered problems with the new tax credits system, before counting difficulties with getting through on the Telephone Helpline.
A recent survey
of members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation indicates that a substantial majority (71%) have encountered problems with the new tax credits system, before counting difficulties with getting through on the Telephone Helpline.
The Survey shows that members are fully aware that not all tax credit claimants can afford professional help – but that members are keen to help improve the system for the benefit of all concerned.
Tim Ambrose, President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said:
“We commissioned this Survey because we wanted to find out how many members are getting involved in tax credits and what difficulties, if any, they were finding. The Survey shows that there are still many issues to be resolved which we want to work together with the Revenue to progress.”
The aspect of new tax credits which members would most like to see changed is the three-month rule. This rule means that claimants have to keep the Revenue fully up to date with their personal circumstances or risk losing entitlement and, in some cases, risk incurring financial penalties.
Tim Ambrose added:
“The three month rule does not sit well with a system that is based on income for a full tax year, leading many members to have to advise clients to make ‘protective claims’, resulting in additional work all round.”
The Survey also shows that Chartered Tax Advisers would like to see more done to improve communication with agents, so that those who do go to get help with their tax credit claims can be sure that their authorised agent is fully informed of all that is happening to their claim during the year.
Tim Ambrose explained:
“Members would like to see copies of tax credit calculations automatically sent to tax advisers where claimants have such assistance: the tax credits system is inevitably complex and many people need help in understanding what is happening. This is particularly important as we reach April 2004 and the finalisation of tax credit entitlement at the end of this first year.”
A summary of its findings is located on page 5 of the report.