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Welfare Tax Credits

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2007, Official Report, column 25W, on welfare tax credits, how many full-time equivalent staff at HM Customs and Revenue are working to complete the review of tax credits awards from 2003 to 2006. (166412)

[holding answer 20 November 2007]: Around 130 Tax Credit Office staff are currently working directly on the cases arising from this exercise. As the review progresses, the Tax Credit Office will assign resources so that these awards are put on a sound footing as soon as is practicable. HMRC remain committed to improving the services they provide to tax credits customers.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2007, Official Report, column 25W, on welfare tax credits, how many tax credits claimants are subject to reduced payments as a consequence of alleged over payments from 2003 to 2006 which are now the subject of the review by HM Customs and Revenue. (166413)

[holding answer 20 November 2007]: The number of households whose current tax credits awards are reduced to recover an overpayment that is the subject of this review is not readily available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The awards which are being reviewed, however, do accurately reflect the households' circumstances at the time the original decision was made. The process by which HM Revenue and Customs took the relevant new information into account was not correct. The review will simply put the affected awards on the proper administrative footing, and the majority of those affected by the review will not see any impact on their tax credits award.