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Issue Date:- 19 May 2008


FAMILIES owed millions of pounds because of changes to Children's Tax Credit payments several years ago are being forced to wait too long for payouts and time is running out, claim financial advisers James Cargill Ltd.  HM Revenue and Customs are taking up to 16 weeks to process applications and with the time limit running out in the next few months there are fears people could be put off claiming.

"In the last few months we've submitted several hundred applications on behalf of people who we believe are still owed Children's Tax Credit from the tax year 2002/03.  Only 12 have been reviewed by HMRC with four paying out so far this year and now we're waiting to see how long it's actually going to take.  It's not fair on people, who were short changed by the government in the first place, to be kept waiting so long again when the deadline is 31 January 2008 next year.   We estimate that up to 40% of working people looking after children between 2002 and 2003 were unaware they could claim this allowance or were put off all together because they didn't understand the taxman's forms." said David McCowan of James Cargill Ltd, a financial advisor with expertise in dealing with HM Revenue and Customs and the people behind

Under normal HM Customs and Revenue rules claims have to be made within 6 years of the financial year against which the claim is being made. 

Children's Tax Credit was introduced by the Government in April 2001 and was replaced by the more user friendly Child Tax Credit in April 2003.  Anyone who hasn't claimed but was working and supporting a child during that time should either get hold of form 11CTC, which should be available to them through their local HMRC office or have a reputable finance recovery company do it for them if they want to recoup their legal entitlement.

"When we tried to speed things up with a phone call to the tax office which deals with this we were told that in the last few weeks alone there had been around 12,000 applications for money owed.  We are worried people will be less likely to apply for the money that's owed to them if it takes so long to get a payout.  There's an awful lot of people out there who we believe are owed money but there has hardly been any advertising to warn them that time is running out to claim what is rightfully theirs." said Mr McCowan.  

Families who have already successfully reclaimed the money for the 2000/1 and 2001/02 tax years are estimated to have received on average £1,176 each.

Andy Hibberd, co-founder of parents' rights group The Parent Organisation said:- "When Labour came to power in 1997, they made some sweeping changes to the tax system which resulted in a lot of families losing a lot of money.  If there is a chance of getting that money back, particularly now when so many families are having to really tighten their belts, then why not claim it. What do they have to lose?"

Entrepreneurs lack support according to new research

THE North West business community does not believe entrepreneurs are receiving enough help from financial institutions, according to research by Bank of Scotland Corporate.

Half of the business people across the region said they do not believe that financial institutions offer enough help to entrepreneurs, while 63% of respondents in the North West also said that they believe that the majority of successful business people have experienced failure and saw it as an important lesson when building a business in the future.

The research, which covered all aspects of entrepreneurialism in the UK, was conducted to coincide with the 2008 Entrepreneur Challenge which will see seven entrepreneurs across the country receive £5 mllion, free of interest and charges for 3 years.

Tim Rigg, Head of Commercial Banking at Bank of Scotland Corporate in the North West, commented:- “I believe it’s vital we support entrepreneurs as much as possible and the fact that fifty percent of business people in the North West don’t think there is enough financial support is something that needs to be addressed.

Our research indicates that whilst entrepreneurial spirit is still vibrant across the North West, entrepreneurs are being held back by a lack of funding, which is why we’ve launched the Entrepreneur Challenge again in 2008, which proves once again that Bank of Scotland is the bank for entrepreneurs.”

The survey was conducted as part of the Bank of Scotland Corporate £35million Entrepreneur Challenge, which will see seven entrepreneurs each win £5million interest free funding.

If short listed, applicants in the North West will be asked to present their business ideas to a judging panel including last year’s winner, Matt Riley from Daisy Communications.

Matt will be joined by other senior business figures and will be looking for applicants with a clear business plan and entrepreneurial flair that stands out from the crowd.

In addition to the £5 million funding package, each regional winner will go forward to a national final where one overall winner will be crowned 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year.

For more information, and to download an entry form by visiting:-


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