Tax Credit awards 04/05 – date of change?

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  • #19866
    lesleymain
    Participant

    Can someone help me as I am losing the plot with tax credits rapidly!!!!

    We are now beginning to see a trickle of revised award letters from 04/05 most of them TC602(D)’s but I have no idea how I am supposed to treat these for HB/CTB ie what date do I put the revised income on from.

    I could follow the “usual” method of using the date notified as date of change, any arrears disregarded and the balance to be paid divided by no of days from date notified to 5/4/05 etc etc etc – and this will be fine if the award is the same or has increased ………but does anyone know what I should do if the revised award is less than last years meaning that from 5/4/04 up to date we have been using a higher income than actually awarded!!

    Also – what are we meant to do with those that last year had their tax credit awards revised and nothing further was being paid (so we ended this income on the claim). I understand that these have all restarted paying again from 5/4/04 – any advice or should I just stop thinking too much!!!

    #1240
    jerikaz
    Participant

    I emailed the Adelphi for advice on the new awards for 2004/05 and how to treat them. Their answer was:

    “Renewal awards are treated as revised awards using the guidance in section 15 of the tax credit handbook. These awards should take account of what has been previously paid under provisional awards so backdating or provisional reassessment is not required. The award notices will also show overpayments to be recovered so you need to use the net amount to be paid over the relevant period. SI 2004/565 sets out the regulation which allows you to do this”

    Lucy Da Silva
    HSD.

    Hope this helps!

    #1241
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    But what is CTC is being recovered from WTC and vice versa? I am not sure the legal power is to all this. Plus the overpayment recovery is not quite that straightforward as colleagues wil have realised! I still await an answer from DWP on this.

    #1242
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote=”jerikaz”]I emailed the Adelphi for advice on the new awards for 2004/05 and how to treat them. Their answer was:

    “These awards should take account of what has been previously paid under provisional awards so backdating or provisional reassessment is not required. ”

    Clearly this is all well and fine as long as we were actually using the rate that the provisional award was paid at in our HB assessment.

    What we have been doing is using the revised award notices to calculate a weekly rate from the already paid (provisional award) figure. In many cases this is proving to be different to what we already have on the claim for the period 06/04/04 onwards. Usually, due to o/p recovery having stopped and payments having reverted to being based on the full 03/04 entitlement.

    #1243
    jerikaz
    Participant

    i have currently lost the plot with tax credits

    as a senior officer with responsibility for training la staff i find this quite worrying

    at the moment i can honestly say that each case we get is looked at, a calculation done as best we can and fingers crossed the weekly figure we get is something similar to the figure actually paid to the customer. The dates we use are based on the confusing advice given which seems only to correspond to CTC – there are no examples for wtc in the guidance on the changes section!

    HB direct 30 seems to offer some hope in paul howorths reply to questions asked but in the mean time i say “bring back the simplicity of wftc”!! 😯

    #1244
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote=”jerikaz”]i have currently lost the plot with tax credits

    as a senior officer with responsibility for training la staff i find this quite worrying

    I’m in the same boat. Assessors come to me every day with TC enquiries and I dread every single one of them! There is no other aspect of HB/CTB that causes so much of a problem, even for experienced staff……something just has to give soon!

    I’m training 13 new staff at the moment, who we employed with no prior benefits experience, and the only topic they have not covered so far is Tax Credits. Why?…..because I just know it will confuse them and I don’t want to even approach the subject until they have aquired some further experience with the more sane elements in HB/CTB assessment.

    #1245
    jerikaz
    Participant

    good to know i’m not alone!!!!!

    #1246
    Neil Adamson
    Participant

    I went on a (unrelated) course recently and a number of authorities seemed to be saying as the way to calculate Tax Credits is not actually contained within the Regs and the IR guidance is just that, they had resorted to simply using the amount per week being paid.

    Any comments?

    #1247
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    I was speaking to someone from an unnamed authority a few weeks ago and they said they had received training on tax credits from a certain well known company . The trainer had basically said because the guidance had no basis in legislation it could be ignored, and you could just use the weekly amount the claimant received into account in the assessment of their HB/CTB. This is the approach that authority has now adopted.

    Tempting, isn’t it…!

    #1248
    Neil Adamson
    Participant

    Sounds like the same course I was on! The advice was the same, practically word for word.

    It has always worried me how I would defend our action at appeal. Would TAS be satisfied with being told that we are just following the advice given?

    #1249
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Practically since day one of tax credits, I have been of the opinion that the Holy Grail was a Commissioners Decision telling us exactly how tax credits should be dealt with for HB/CTB purposes. Have I missed them? Does anybody know of any in the pipeline?

    #1250
    Anonymous
    Guest

    If I have ever said anything like that, I hope I made it clear that I was being flippant (it wasn’t me was it?). Then again, there is no denying that it is actually true …

    It has always seemed absurd to me that the HB guidance is so minutely calibrated when the tax crddit award itself is only ever a temporary estimate pending confirmation of the year’s income after it ends. A fine example of the old maxim:

    measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

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