Report changes, tax credit claimants told

Tax credits claimants are reminded by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) today to report changes in their circumstances – or they may receive more money than they are entitled to. They would have to pay this back and might face a financial penalty. From April this year, any income increase for a household of more than £5,000 for the tax year will reduce a claimant’s tax credits award for the 2013-14 tax year.
This amount has fallen from the previous figure of £10,000, after a Budget announcement in 2010. Claimants need to let HMRC know of any changes in their circumstances that they haven’t already reported during the year. The changes could be about their working hours, childcare costs, living arrangements or income. They need to report the changes immediately and ensure the details they provide are correct.

HMRC’s Director General of Benefits and Credits, Nick Lodge, said:

“Many people forget or fail to tell us about important changes – such as having a partner move in or an increase in income – which will affect the amount of money they receive. This could mean that they don’t get all the money they are entitled to. Or they could receive money that they have to pay back.


Don’t get caught on the net by tax rebate phishing scam

Taxpayers reported almost 80,000 tax rebate phishing emails last year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have revealed today, as they warn people not to fall victim to the email scams sent by fraudsters. The emails promise a tax refund in exchange for personal, credit card or banking details. However, people who respond risk opening their account to fraud and having details sold on to organised criminal gangs.
Emails often link to a clone of HMRC’s genuine website to trick unsuspecting taxpayers into handing over their details, but HMRC never sends emails about a genuine tax rebate.HMRC took action to close down 522 illegal sites in 2012, which showed these emails originated from a number of countries including the United States of America, Russia and Japan, as well as central and eastern Europe.
Gareth Lloyd, Head of Digital Security for HMRC said:
“HMRC does not email customers about tax refunds – we only ever contact customers who are genuinely due tax back in writing, by post.


HM Revenue & Customs

People who sell directly to customers and who haven’t paid all the tax they owe have one week left to take part in an opportunity offered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to get their tax affairs in order, on the best terms available. Direct sellers – sometimes called agents, consultants, representatives or distributors – must tell HMRC about the tax due, and make arrangements to pay, before 28 February 2013.

Direct selling involves selling directly to customers and taking “commission” on sales – without the need for a shop. It can entail demonstrating a product in a customer’s home or selling at a party. Some agents sell door to door, and many use catalogues.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said:

“If you are involved in direct selling and have not told HMRC about all of your income, you may not be paying the right amount of tax. The Direct Selling campaign is an opportunity for you to bring your tax affairs up to date.
“As a direct seller you are generally considered to be self-employed. This means that you are responsible for telling HMRC about what you earn and calculating and paying your own tax.

“If you owe tax and don’t get in contact, do not assume that HMRC will not catch up with you soon.”

After the 28 February deadline, HMRC will begin contacting direct sellers who have not come forward, if HMRC believes they owe tax.
For information on tax for the self-employed direct seller, visit A YouTube video also offers help:

To take part in the campaign, direct sellers need to:
* Tell HMRC about the tax due and make arrangements to pay any tax, interest, and penalties owed by 28 February 2013
* Complete a form online at:
Some £547million has been raised by HMRC from voluntary disclosures, and almost £140 million from follow-up activity, including 20,000 completed investigations.

HMRC campaigns launched so far have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters, coaches and tutors, electricians, online traders and higher rate taxpayers with outstanding tax returns. There are also 13 criminal investigations underway, with five convictions already secured.


RTI pilot hits the next level

Up to 250,000 employers are set to join the Real Time Information in PAYE (RTI) pilot between now and 31 March 2013.

In April 2013, employers will start to send PAYE data electronically to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) each time they pay their employees as part of routine payroll processes, rather than sending a separate return at the end of the year. Returns will include details of all employees’ pay, tax and deductions.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“RTI will improve the operation of PAYE and reduce administrative burdens on employers by £300 million every year. It will also provide up to date information about wages and tax for the forthcoming Universal Credit, so eligible employees and pensioners will get the right amount of benefits.”

Ruth Owen, HMRC’s Director General Personal Tax, said:

“The pilot continues to go very well and remains on track. We started with just 10 employers in April and now have over 1,800 PAYE schemes successfully submitting PAYE returns in real time, with more than 1.97 million individual records. The employers involved are giving us some excellent feedback and this latest expansion builds on growing external confidence from this success.

”With a wide range of employers in the pilot, of varying sizes -including micro businesses and SMEs – using commercial software, payroll services and HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools, we are confident that the system will work smoothly and that our guidance and support products give customers the help and guidance needed. We are learning all the time from the pilot, to improve the way we roll out to all employers next year.

“The main thing now is that those employers not in the pilot do not delay but start to prepare for April 2013 now, for example, by checking their software will be updated and employee data is accurate and up to date. We have a communication campaign planned for the next few months to make sure every employer knows what to do to be ready for RTI in April next year.”


Tax avoidance scheme beaten in court

A marketed tax avoidance scheme which claimed to license newspaper mastheads to avoid tax has been successfully challenged by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in court.

A marketed tax avoidance scheme which claimed to license newspaper mastheads to avoid tax has been successfully challenged by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in court.

The decision has protected £5.6 million and potentially £104 million in 67 similar cases.

The Tribunal ruled that subsidiaries of Iliffe News and Media Limited were not entitled to a tax deduction for payments they had made to their parent company to use their own mastheads.

This is the latest in a series of Tribunal decisions in HMRC’s favour which take forward the department’s commitment to create a level tax playing field for all businesses.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s Director General for Business Tax, welcomed the outcome: “This is an important ruling against a marketed avoidance scheme and the latest in a series of successful HMRC challenges to such schemes. We will continue to challenge artificial arrangements such as this in the interests of the vast majority of businesses and people who choose to play by the rules.”


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