Tax Credits Handbook


By Victoria Todd, Robin Williamson

In the UK, the current tax year of 2012/2013 is an important one for tax credits claimants and their advisers. Since an emergency Budget in June 2010, the UK's Coalition Government have made a series of announcements affecting not only the rates and thresholds, but also working hours, income rules, time limits, and entitlements. New areas of complexity have entered an already complex system, with the potential to trip up claimants, advisers, and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials alike. Meanwhile, stories in the press and media have often obfuscated rather than enlightened. HMRC's compliance activities have stepped up a grade, and with revenues to protect and budgetary constraints to cope with, investigation teams are not always too careful about claimant rights and safeguards. Small businesses that claim a working tax credit are a particular target, as are single claimants and those claiming disability and childcare elements. Against this shifting landscape, plans are going ahead to phase out tax credits over the next five years and introduce the new universal credit gradually from October 2013. Tax Credits Handbook 2012/13 covers the whole of this complex area in depth. Intended principally for UK advisers in tax and welfare rights, but also for officials, academics, and the lay claimant with a wish to understand more about how tax credits work, this book provides detailed commentary and practical guidance on who can claim and how a claim should be made. It describes the award cycle from initial claim to renewal, with detailed examples on how to calculate entitlement and how to deal with changes in income and circumstances through the period of an award. All the elements of working tax credit and child tax credit are examined, including childcare. The vexed question of tax credit overpayments is covered in two chapters - how they arise, how to avoid them, and how to challenge them. There is also commentary on HMRC powers of investigation - examinations, enquiries, and so forth - and claimants' rights, safeguards, and remedies when faced with wrong decisions, including how to conduct appeals, disputes, and complaints. "There are few books available to guide the professional through the maze of legislation underpinning the tax credits regime, so a new book is very welcome. It is written in a clear, concise style, is comprehensive and yet still easy to read. Existing tax credit claimants will need help for a few more years and I recommend this book to anyone working in this field." Taxation Magazine, Volume 170, Issue 4373, October 4, 2012, 18.

348 pages

Publication Date: 8/31/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781907444036