LITRG publish comprehensive tax credits book for advisers
23 August 2012 | by LITRG
Victoria Todd and Robin Williamson of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group have written a comprehensive handbook for advisers dealing with tax credits which has just been published by Spiramus and is available to buy on their website.
To some it may seem an odd time to publish a book about a system that will, in a few years, be replaced. However, the current tax year, 2012/13, is an important one for tax credits claimants and their advisers. Since an emergency Budget in June 2010, the 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 trip up claimants, advisers and HMRC officials alike.
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 claiming 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.
The Tax Credits Handbook 2012/13 covers the whole of this complex area in depth. Intended primarily for advisers in tax and welfare rights, but also for officials, acdemics 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, provides detailed entitlement calculations and covers HMRC investigative powers in detail. Overpayments are dealt with in depth explaining how they arise, how to avoid them and how to challenge them.
The commentary is based on legal provisions and precedents but with a practical slant. A chapter dedicated to how advisers should deal with HMRC, based on the experience of the authors and LITRG over the years is also included.
Updates for the book will be provided through revenuebenefits, with the first one available towards the end of September.