Bristol update

Thanks to everyone who came along to our meeting in Bristol on 1st March 2013 and to our hosts in the city council welfare rights team. The minutes of the meeting and the presentations from the day are now available in the members area.

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Tax Credits – HMRC compliance investigations and credit agency checks

HMRC routinely collects information from credit reference agencies for data matching against tax credit claims. When this information leads HMRC to suspect an award of tax credit may be incorrect the award may be suspended while the compliance section conducts an investigation. A common scenario is where HMRC suspect a single claimant may have an ‘undeclared partner’ living with them. It is often very difficult for advisers to assist clients when compliance teams are involved.

At the recent NAWRA meeting in Neath a number of advisers reported this to be a growing problem.

HMRC have promised to hold a special meeting of the Benefits & Credits Consultation group to discuss this matter further (date to be arranged). It would be helpful to collect more examples of the problems that have arisen.

Two NAWRA members have agreed to collate examples to take to HMRC. It would help if members could send examples to the following email contacts:

For CAB advisers: sue.royston@citizensadvice.org.uk
For all other NAWRA members: alban.hawksworth@turn2us.org.uk

Thanks to both for their help and to you all for your input.

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