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Members: Correspondence

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects HM Revenue and Customs to reply substantively to the letter of 30 April 2007 from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford, regarding a constituent, Mrs. C. Austin (HMRC ref: 2007/05 00517); what the reasons are for the time taken to reply; and if he will make a statement. (162402)

Although it is HM Revenue and Customs’ practice to reply to the majority of letters from right hon. and hon. Members within three weeks, following the administrative issue I referred to in my statement of 25 July 2007, Official Report, columns 62-63WS, some parts of HMRC’s tax credits business have, unfortunately, been subject to delays. HMRC regret this and will continue to try to deal with all cases as quickly as they can.

These delays are a result of HMRC having to look again at cases potentially affected by the procedural error and to ensure that households/individuals affected by the error are not given incorrect advice in advance of their award being reviewed.

The three months indicated in the recent letter to the hon. Member was intended to be helpful and indicate the latest date by which HMRC hoped to have resolved the inquiry.