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Welfare Tax Credits

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what targets his Department has set for the time taken to process (a) a notification of a tax credit claimant’s change of circumstances and (b) any subsequent amendment of a tax credit award; and if he will make a statement; (246608)

(2) how long on average it has taken to process a notification of (a) a tax credit claimant’s change of circumstances and (b) any subsequent amendment of a tax credit award in each year since the scheme’s introduction; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many notifications of changed circumstances relating to tax credits HM Revenue and Customs received in each month of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Performance outturn for all new claims, renewals and changes of circumstances for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 can be found in the Department’s autumn performance reports which are available at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/reports.htm

Information relating solely to change of circumstance notifications for 2006-07 and 2007-08 is provided in the following table.

Target (Percentage)

86 per cent. in five working days

95 per cent. in 30 working days

2006-07

89.7

92.7

2007-08

89.1

91.6

The majority of changes of circumstances are notified to the tax credits helpline and are processed at the time of the call. The changes that impact on the 30-day target are usually notified in writing.

The Tax Credit Office now has a separate internal measure that aims to process 80 per cent. of all written notifications in 15 working days and 98 per cent. in 30 calendar days in 2008-09. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is working hard to identify how resources can be most effectively deployed to achieve this aim.

Detailed information about the number of change of circumstance notifications received is not available in the format requested.