Time for a Tax Credit rant

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  • #19713
    Mark
    Participant

    I have just read Amendment 7. Is it just me or has the whole Tax Credit stuff now become insane. We still don’t know how do deal with awards after April 2003, payments of arrears, part-year awards or end of year action. We do now know how to deal with returned proformas and award notices for awards made now – and it is completely mad. How on earth does this link into the HB simplification project? We now have multiple change of circumstances dates for simple changes (e.g children become 1 yr old), ludricously complex calculations for predicted mid-year changes, award notices that will sometimes tell us so little we will have to ring the IR anyway (if we ever get the number). And don’t get me started again on the 30hr premium/disregard issue. I will say simply that the way it is written in Amendment 7 is clearly wrong in several key respects (e.g. 25 or over (not over 25), pensioners that must be over 25 (as is there is any other sort) and much more besides. They have muddled the disability issue so much that it is unreadable. Are we seriously supposed to give all assessors a list of IR payment cycles so they can work out the effective date to treat Tax Credit income from. I could continue but I won’t – instead I will see if anyone here has some decent scotch stashed in their desk.

    #782
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Mark

    I read this noticeboard regularly but have never felt confident or strongly enough about most issues to make a comment, however along comes amendment 7 of the New Tax Credit Guide AAAHHH!!!. I began to read it Friday afternoon but thought I was suffering from Tax Credit overload because I had just completed Tax Credit training to our benefit
    assessors.

    In the cold light of Monday morning I began again to read Amendment 7 and feel very much the same, and take some comfort that I’m not alone.

    And am I losing my grip or is there now different effect dates to use when dealing with “predictable changes” and in year changes to awards.

    Tricia
    Benefits Training Officer

    #783
    jmembery
    Participant

    I am particularly impressed by that masterstroke of genius that where there is a predictable change, the letters tell claimants the amount that their payments will change to but not the date.

    How long do you think before the IR decides there is a need for a “Radical Agenda for Tax Credits”?

    #784
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I’ve just read Amendment 7 too and I feel deep sympathy for the staff who will have to implement it. Our Ovaltech Benefits Calculator programs (no plug intended) only have to calculate the wretched things – which is bad enough. But it sounds like you folk in the real world will be playing a merry game of non-stop musical claim adjustment!

    Good luck – keithB

    #785
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Amendment 7? I haven’t even got it yet. What I have got is a lot of cases where WFTC has been stripped out of the computer system, and on recalc for 03/04 HB has shot up. Eventually some of them will get a tax credit but some won’t. It is going to be a difficult one to explain to the public.

    #786
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Mark

    Please tell me how much training you’ve had on Tax Credits.

    We’ve had one day (which concentrated on how IR will calculate TC’s).

    I agree Amendment 7 has thrown a spanner in the works (and a hammer, saw, rasp, etc., etc.).

    Be afraid, be very afraid !

    #787
    Mark
    Participant

    Lee – we are all on a steep learning curve on this one. Anyone who seems genuinely clued up is very much self taught. However – as a training officer I will be providing 1/2 a days training to all benefits staff prior to April and then some follow up training after April when we know more.

    #788
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks

    #789
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Can’t help but refer to the part in the handbook which states…

    “..to help ease the assessment of claims, both during the introduction period and after, we have introduced some changes to the treatment of income and capital…”

    Mmm. My assessment staff will be so pleased about this when I explain the amended Tax Credit scheme to them for the 5th time this month… :18:

    #790
    Louise
    Participant

    Our assessors have enought trouble with effective dates as it is. Where there is a predictable change has anyone decided whether to do a future recalc at the initial assessment or wait until recalcing for applicable amount change and go back for income change?

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