The Big Question – FDs slam tax credit fines

Finance directors have slammed the government’s decision to fine employers for errors when administering the controversial working families tax credit.

From next April, the new system will require employers to pay tax credits to eligible working families and disabled people through pay packets.

It has already been attacked by accountants and business groups for adding to red tape, and last week it emerged that the government would fine employers up to #3,000 for administrative mistakes.

Of the 214 FDs questioned in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel The Big Question, 66% said it was unfair to fine employers, with most saying the credit was the responsibility of government and not business.

Gary Brookes, of Adullum Homes, said: The government is handing its responsibility to businesses. Resources should be given to businesses of less than #1m turnover and 50 staff to cope with the extra burden.’

Barry Boddy, of printers WBF, added: ‘Sick and maternity pay is already handled by employers. It’s as if they’re handing the whole benefits system over to us.’

Less than one quarter of FDs backed the penalty. Paresh Samat, of employment and safety services specialist SBJ, said simply: ‘It’s the law.’

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