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#1 Posted : 21 August 2014 10:10:16(UTC)
Tax

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 02/04/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4

Hi All

A client's wife had a letter from HMRC stating that she had not paid back Child Benefit for 2012-13 and her income was over the limit.

Her husband was pretty annoyed but I pointed out this was incorrect as the £438 for 2012-13 had been paid back via his tax return as he was the higher earner in the year.

HMRC's letter had no contact telephone number on it and the client thought it was pretty unhelpful about what to do next!

Crazy,as then client had no idea what to do to correct it, tell HMRC etc.

So I called the HMRC agent dedicated help line as both husband and wife are clients and I was told by HMRC ignore the letter but that no apology or letter to client informing them that HMRC's first letter was in fact incorrect would be issued which will leave the client felling a little unsettled.

Passed on message to client and said that if they get any more letters the same from HMRC claiming it had not been paid back to let me know and I would write to HMRC with a complaint.

The whole system though seems a little messy and prone to this sort of error by HMRC and also seems like a LOT of additional work for HMRC and tax agents to administer the Child Benefit charge system like this regarding clawbacks.

Of course it is at the client's option to simply stop claiming then there would be no clawback! That would be sensible and maybe after this letter from HMRC the client will take the no claim no clawback option to save the headaches.

HMRC said that incorrect letters like this can happen where both partners are the £50,000 limit as it is "less clear then which tax return the clawback should be on" per HMRC.

However HMRC accepted on the phone that this was no so really as the Child Benefit charge has to go on the higher earner of the two partners which we did correctly.

Interested to know if anyone else has had incorrect letters from HMRC re Child Benefit clawbacks for 2012-13?

Edited by user 21 August 2014 10:16:49(UTC)  | Reason: typo

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