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Tax Credits

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit award notices have been issued in each month since July 2005; and if he will make a statement. (75783)

Award notices are issued at the following points in the tax credits cycle:

An initial award notice, following a successful claim.

An amended award notice when a claimant notifies HMRC of a change of circumstances or income during a year.

A finalised award notice following the completion of the renewal process.

Where payments are continuing following a finalised award for one year, an award notice is issued to advise of the provisional payments HMRC will be making for the subsequent year.

Award notices issued each month since July 2005 are as follows:

Award notices issued

2005

July

3,388,000

August

3,698,000

September

4,340,1600

October

3,423,000

November

2,007,000

December

2,467,000

2006

January

2,276,000

February

2,923,000

March

1,697,000

April

1,118,000

May

4,515,000

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the overpayment of tax credits in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05 and (c) 2005-06 was due to software and other computer problems; and if he will make a statement. (76432)

For 2003-04 I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him and the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (John Barrett) on 27 October 2005, Official Report, columns 496-497W.

For 2004-05 I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Inland Revenue 2004-05 Accounts published on 10 October 2005 which are available on the internet at: www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/ir-report2005.pdf

Information for 2005-06 is not yet available.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many interviews at home about tax credit fraud have been carried out by claimant compliance officers in each quarter since April 2002; (78376)

(2) how many face-to-face interviews for Living Together as Husband and Wife tax credit claims have been held in each quarter by claimant compliance officers since April 2002.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave on 31 January 2006, Official Report, column 413W to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Paul Flynn).

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the pre-payment automated risk rules in the tax credits system. (81150)

All tax credit claims are subject to an automated risk assessment process which looks at the features of a claim against known risks. These risk rules work in combination to identify those claims that are high risk and require further consideration, with the highest risk cases looked at by a compliance team who may undertake a full compliance examination before an award is made.

It would be inappropriate to give specific details as this could aid those seeking to gain through fraud.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in date order the written ministerial statements on tax credits which have been made since 1997. (86510)

Written ministerial statements made by Treasury Ministers, and indeed oral statements and other announcements made in the House of Commons, are a matter of public record.