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					                                                                                                       WINTER 2004/05


                                                                                         IN THIS ISSUE

                                                                                         What YOU need to know:

                                                                                         • How we process claims and how you
                                                                                            can talk to us


                                                                                         What YOUR CLIENTS need to know:

                                                                                         • Changes in circumstances –
                                                                                            why claimants must tell us

                                                                                         • What happens if they've been overpaid
                                                                                         • Eligibility for Working Tax Credit




Thanks for your help with the renewals process
We are pleased with the good response          receiving tax credits for another year.            circumstances change.
to tax credits renewals and a big reason for   To ensure your clients continue to receive         You will find more details in the
that success is down to you.                   the correct amount of tax credits, we’d like       ‘What YOUR CLIENTS need to know’
We are very grateful for your support so far   your help again – by advising them to              section of this newsletter.
and for helping claimants to continue          contact us as soon as possible if their




                                               The Tax Credit Office – processing claims
                                               The Tax Credit Office in Great Britain has       techniques or via the Internet. This means
                                               offices located in Preston and Liverpool.        that a claim can be automatically checked
                                               It is responsible for the administration         and processed, the entitlement
                                               and payment of tax credits. The Tax Credit       calculated, a decision notice produced
                                               Office in Northern Ireland serves a similar      and sent out, and payments made – all
                                               function as part of Inland Revenue               without any clerical intervention.
                                               Northern Ireland.

                                               A more efficient processing service
                                               The days of caseworkers working on a
                                               claim through from receipt to payment
                                               are over. Now, most tax credit claims are
                                               captured electronically either on the tax
                                               credit computer using rapid data capture
What YOU need to know
When to use the Tax Credits Helpline
                      Please use the Helpline to report changes in circumstances or for general enquiries.
                      Advisers on this line have the same expertise and can access the same information as
                      the teams working in the Tax Credit Office.




Recorded telephone conversations
                      The general Tax Credits Helpline has full voice recording facilities. Please advise
                      clients to keep a record of the date and time of calls they make. Then, in the
                      unusual situation where there is a dispute over anything said, you can ask the
                      Helpline for a CD recording of the call.




When English isn't your client's first language
                      The Helpline offers help in 150 different languages. If your clients want to discuss
                      tax credits queries personally and English isn’t their first language, you can
                      request that a Helpline adviser fluent in your client’s mother tongue calls your
                      client back.




What happens with your client's information
                      Once recorded by the adviser, the IT system will process the information and
                      reschedule payments, taking into account what's due for the year and what has
                      already been paid. Any changes to continuing payments prompted by a change
                      in circumstances will generally be processed overnight and be visible on a
                      claimant's entitlement the next day.




When to use a direct number to contact us
                      As explained above, Helpline advisers should be able to answer any query
                      about a tax credits claim. However, if one of your clients receives a letter from
                      a team dealing with an appeal, a complaint or an overpayment and it contains
                      a direct number, you can call that number on behalf of your client to speak to a
                      team member – but only about that particular aspect.
What YOUR CLIENTS need to know
If their circumstances change, they should inform us
Not telling us could cost them money
It’s vitally important that your clients tell us as soon as possible about any changes in their circumstances that may affect their
claim. If they do not, they may not be paid the right amount of tax credits.


The changes they must tell us about within 3 months
       If their living circumstances                 If they go abroad permanently               If they stop paying for child care
      have changed (e.g. they no                   or for more than 8 weeks. Or if            or their costs reduce by £10 or
longer live with a partner with whom         they go abroad for more than 12 weeks        more. They can find details of other
they’ve made a joint claim, or start to      due to an illness, a family illness or       changes in circumstances that we need to
live with a new partner)                     bereavement                                  know about at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/
                                                                                          changes/index.htm
A V O I D A P E N A LT Y – T E L L U S W I T H I N 3 M O N T H S


What your client should do if they don’t agree that they should
repay an overpayment
                                          They will need to set out their reasons in writing. Form TC846 is available with the
                                          Code of Practice on our website or from the Helpline. Our Code of Practice 26
                                          describes circumstances when we may not ask for a repayment. Your client can refer
                                          to this at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/leaflets/c11.htm

                                          If your client thinks we have made a mistake and are paying them too much, they
                                          should contact the Helpline on 0845 300 3900 as soon as possible.



Renewals – what next?
If your clients have provided us with an estimated income figure, they have until 31 January 2005 to give us a final figure,
otherwise we will finalise their award on the basis of their estimated income figure.




How do we inform those who haven’t renewed that they may
have to repay overpaid tax credits?
We have been sending claimants a Statement of Account showing the amount of tax credits paid and any overpayment.
This explains whether any overpayment has to be repaid and, if this is the case, we will write explaining how that repayment can
be made. We follow up the Statement of Account with a Notice to Pay which includes a payslip for people to use to send us their
payment. The Notice to Pay tells people that repayment can be spread over 12 months and that, if they want to arrange this
or have any other queries, they should contact the Receivables Management Service Helpline on the telephone number shown
on the Notice to Pay.
A reminder about eligibility for Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit is a payment to top up                                                     The amount they receive will depend on
the earnings of working people on low
                                                       A single person (you don’t have to
                                                        have a family to claim)               their annual income. They must be over
incomes. This includes the self employed.                                                     16 to claim.
Those eligible may be:
                                                       A married couple living together
                                                                                              Visit www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk for
                                                        A man and woman living together
                                                       as if married
                                                                                              more details.




           You should have received a copy of the payments explanation sheet (TC602PE). We hope you found this helpful. We are also
           working on guidance aimed especially at intermediary advisers and on redesigning the award notice itself (TC602) based on
           feedback received. You will only see changes to the award notice from 2005/06.




News about child care and help for parents
with children attending college

New tax and National Insurance
contributions exemptions begin in April
2005 for employer supported child care
(obtained and provided by employers and
child care providers).

Plus, financial help (such as grants and
student loans) is now available for parents
of college students. For more information,
visit www.dfes.gov.uk/studentsupport




How to contact us

        By phone                                                                                      By post

The Tax Credits Helpline numbers are:            The Tax Credits Helpline is open from 8am    If you live in Great Britain:
(GB)               0845 300 3900                 to 8pm every day including weekends,         Inland Revenue, Tax Credit Office,
(N. Ireland)       0845 603 2000                 except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New        PRESTON PR1 OSB
Our Helpline advisers have also received         Year’s Day and Easter Sunday.
                                                                                              If you live in Northern Ireland:
Typetalk guidance and we are able to
                                                                                              Inland Revenue, Tax Credit Office,
disclose information via the Typetalk service.
                                                                                              Dorchester House,
                                                                                              52-58 Great Victoria Street,
                                                                                              BELFAST BT2 7WF

				
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