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Tax Credits

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what procedures are in place to deal with general inquiries in circumstances where the IT system for processing working family tax credits becomes inoperative. (92925)

Working families tax credit was replaced by child tax credit and working tax credit in 2003.

Where systems supporting these two new tax credits become unavailable, e.g. due to such planned events as system upgrades, then advisers are still able to provide answers to general inquiries. In some instances HMRC can still record details of reported changes. If that is not possible, callers are advised to call back when HMRC expects its systems to be available.

Callers may also be directed to the HMRC website which contains extensive information and guidance.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the recently announced operational bonus for service personnel on tax credits. (94706)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the bonus recently announced for service personnel on combat duty will be treated for tax credit purposes. (95076)

[holding answers 19 October 2006]: We intend to amend the tax credit regulations so that the operational bonus is disregarded for tax credit awards.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer how many service personnel are claiming tax credits. (95075)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer what the incidence of tax credit fraud was in the last period for which figures are available; what the total amount involved was in that period; and what assessment he has made of how successful the relevant authorities have been in eliminating it. (95316)

I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made to the House on 11 July 2006, Official Report columns. 1281-82, and to the HMRC publications “Child and Working Tax Credits: Error and fraud statistics 2003-04” and “Tackling error and fraud in the Child and Working Tax Credits” available on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/index.htm.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the savings which would be made if tax credits were not available to higher rate taxpayers. (95691)

[holding answer 20 October 2006]: The estimated annual saving, in 2006-07, of removing entitlement to tax credits for those families with at least one higher rate taxpayer is £0.1 billion.

This estimate excludes any behavioural response to the change. It was calculated using the Department’s tax and benefit model.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff at the Tax Credit Office received bonus payments in each month between December 2005 and September 2006; what the total amount of bonuses paid has been; what the largest single payment was; and if he will make a statement. (93456)

The director of the Tax Credit Office has the discretion to award special bonuses to recognise exceptional performance. The dates and number of payments made are:

Staff in receipt of bonuses

Number

December 2005

47

January 2006

0

February 2006

0

March 2006

224

April 2006

0

May 2006

0

June 2006

12

July 2006

6

August 2006

3

September 2006

1

The total amount paid to TCO staff between December 2005 and September 2006 was £60,948.50. The total number of awards made in this period was 293 and the average payment was around £200.

The largest single payment was for £1,000.