TaxPersonal TaxRevenue attacked over tax credit policy

Revenue attacked over tax credit policy

Outgoing Ernst & Young tax partner Anne Redston has hit out at the government for forcing thousands of tax credit claimants unwittingly into debt due to the complexity of the benefits system.

Link: Top tax commentator leaves E&Y

Redston, who leaves E&Y at the end of April to pursue other interests following an internal reorganisation at the firm, argued against the Inland Revenue’s policy of clawing back overpayments of tax credits.

Speaking to The Times, Redston said: ‘These people are caught in the tentacles of a system that almost no one understands. People may have struggle to stay out of debt and then find they owe the Revenue thousands of pounds. It is a debt that has built up without them even understanding what has happened. The Revenue and the Treasury need to take a step back and look at the position for these people.’

By December 78,000 people had applied for the recovery of overpayments to be reconsidered because of ‘official error’. The Revenue has said it will write off overpayments that were its own fault but of the 41,000 cases considered so far, only 1,600 have been written off.

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