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Welfare Tax Credits

Volume 467: debated on Monday 12 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has set HM Customs and Revenue a date by which to complete the review of tax credit cases referred to in the written statement of 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 62-3WS, on tax credit administration; (162386)

(2) how many households HM Customs and Revenue has written to in respect of tax credit awards for (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05 and (c) 2005-06 with reference to the written statement of 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 62-3WS, on tax credit administration;

(3) what action he has taken to deal with the tax credit cases affected by the administrative problems described in the written statement of 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 62-3WS on tax credit administration.

HM Revenue and Customs has started a planned programme of work to review around 100,000 tax credits awards from 2003-04, 75,000 cases from 2004-05 and 75,000 from 2005-06, and has written to advise the households affected.

HMRC is working to complete this review as quickly as possible.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the written statement of 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 62-3WS on tax credit administration, (1) how many tax credit claimants have were mistakenly notified by HM Revenue and Customs that their finalised tax credit awards had been reopened incorrectly and that overpayments would be remitted, and what the value was of the remittances made to such tax credits claimants; (162396)

(2) how many tax credit claimants were notified by HM Revenue and Customs that their finalised tax credit awards had been reopened incorrectly and that overpayments would be remitted, and what the value was of the remittances made to such tax credits claimants.

HM Revenue and Customs wrote to around 250,000 households in August and September about reviewing or inquiring into awards in order to correct an administrative error. The programme to take forward this action is now under way. No tax credits claimants have yet been advised that their overpayments will be remitted as a result of this exercise.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the number of compensation payments due to errors and delays in tax credit office administration in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. (163393)

The circumstances in which HM Revenue and Customs will make compensation payments to its customers are explained in the Department’s fact sheet ‘Complaints and Putting Things Right’, which is available at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk

For information on the number of compensation payments made each year for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 I refer the hon. Member to the reply that the Paymaster General gave the hon. Member for St. Albans (Anne Main) on 18 January 2007, Official Report, column 1346W. The updated figure for the number of compensation payments for 2006-07 is estimated to be 7,800.