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Tax Credit Office: Administration

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total annual administrative costs of the Tax Credit Office were for the most recent period for which figures are available; and what proportion of those costs related to (a) processing claims, (b) dealing with inquiries and (c) resolving complaints. (181088)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) delivers tax credits through a number of its business units including the Tax Credit Office (TCO). The TCO has a number of roles largely relating to handling awards that cannot be processed automatically by HMRC computer systems. For example, TCO will help bring new claims into payments where customers have provided incomplete information. TCO also handles most written inquiries put to HMRC about tax credits, including complaints and requests for reviews of decisions.

TCO staffing costs for 2006-07 were around £84.3 million and the staff costs of handling complaints in the TCO in the same period was around £4.5 million. The other information requested is available only at disproportionate cost.

For information relating to the full costs of delivering tax credits, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 375W.