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Issue:- Monday, 11 April 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 2.

Tax Credits Overpayment Change likely to cause serious hardship

Tax Credit claimants earning over £20,000 may see sharp cuts in payments as HMRC recovers overpayments at a higher rate, says a concerned Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.

Changes announced in the March 2014 Budget come into effect today. It will affect Tax Credit claimants with a household income of more than £20,000 who are paying back a historic Tax Credit overpayment from their present Tax Credit payments.

The maximum rate at which their ongoing payments are reduced in order to repay the debt will increase from 25% to 50%.  This means they will pay back the overpayment at a faster rate, but will see their Tax Credit payments significantly reduced.

LITRG is calling on HMRC to devise some form of protection from the 50%rate for those with childcare costs and those who receive the disability elements of Tax Credits.

Anthony Thomas, Chairman of LITRG, said:- "This change is likely to catch people out as they may not be aware that their payments are about to reduce by an additional 25%. The cliff-edge income threshold means it is going to affect families with household income of more than £20,000 whatever their circumstances. This is likely to hit those with high childcare costs or who receive extra payments due to disability even harder as their awards will be higher. We fully support the need for HMRC to recover overpayment debt but this should not be at such a rate that it has the potential to plunge people into serious financial hardship. We are extremely concerned that this measure, especially when combined with other recent debt measures like recovering working Tax Credit overpayments from ongoing Child Tax Credit awards and vice versa, might well cause claimants to fall into hardship. The current Tax Credit hardship processes are not well publicised and little information is provided about when someone might qualify under hardship provisions. We urge HMRC to consider protecting those with childcare costs or who qualify for any of the disability elements from this 50 per cent recovery rate so that they do not face losing a significant part of their awards. Failure to do this may force people out of work if they cannot pay their childcare costs, and may leave people with disabilities unable to meet the extra costs associated with their disability."

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Deceased estates notice - Lilian May Jackam

Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9HD, UK, who died on 04/10/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing, to the undersigned Solicitors, on or before 24/05/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice. Churches Solicitors, 12 High Street, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7BL, UK. Ref:- 'T553015.'

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