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Welfare Tax Credits

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how may tax credit recipients have not received one or more payments as scheduled in April 2007 as a result of renewing awards in the new tax year 2007-08; (133629)

(2) whether guidance has been circulated to HM Revenue and Customs staff centrally and in local HM Revenue and Customs offices on issuing interim manual payments to tax credit recipients who have not received one or more payments as a result of renewing awards in the new tax year 2007-08.

I am not aware of any claimants not receiving payments scheduled in April 2007 as a result of them renewing their tax credit award for the tax year 2007-08.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how may tax credit recipients did not receive one or more payments in (a) April 2006, (b) April 2005 and (c) April 2004 as a result of renewing awards at the beginning of each new tax year. (133630)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether people of whom HM Revenue and Customs have no records and who illegally pay no tax are included within the estimates of those entitled to receive tax credits in the Family Resource Survey cited in HM Revenue and Customs’ Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Take-up rates 2004-05; (133749)

(2) whether the figures in the HM Revenue and Customs document Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Take-up rates 2004-05 take account of an estimate of (a) the amounts which were fraudulently claimed and (b) the number of couples fraudulently claiming to be lone parents.

The methodology used by HMRC in producing the child and working tax credits take-up statistics is detailed in pages 13 to 17 of the HMRC publication “Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Take-up Rates 2004-05”, which is available on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-take-up.htm

The number of recipients of tax credits is drawn from HMRC administrative data. HMRC have a range of compliance processes in place to ensure that only claims from those eligible for tax credits are put into payment. This includes cross checking income information from the tax credit claim form against other HMRC systems.

The number of entitled non-recipients of tax credits is estimated from the Family Resources Survey and the British Household Panel Survey. Survey data received by HM Revenue and Customs are anonymised. It is not therefore possible to establish whether particular families are non-compliant with respect to tax or tax credits.

The methodology minimises the effect of non- compliance on the take-up rate figures as the recipient population is included both in the numerator and denominator of the calculation.