What are the tax credits?

Tax credits are payments the Government makes to you if you live in the UK and are in a paid work, responsible for children or both.
There are two types of tax credits: Working Tax Credit (WTC) and Child Tax Credits (CTC).
The CTC has the following parts:
• a family part
• a baby part
• a child part
• a disability part.
The WTC has in turn the following parts:
• basic part
• a couple part
• a lone parent’s part
• a 30 hours a week part
• a disability part
• over 50 years old part.

If you are a student and do not have paid work you may still be able to claim if you look after a child.
If you are 16 or over and have a dependant child or are working and disabled you can still claim tax credits.
If you are 25 years old or over and you work at least 30 hours a week you can claim even if you have no children.
People who have children can claim WTC as well as CTC as long as they work at least 16 hours a week.
Rates and Thresholds for 2008-09 tax credits:

Working Tax Credit ( per year)
•Basic part:£1800
•Couple and lone parent part :£1770
•30 hour part: £735
•Disabled worker part:£2405
•Severe disability element: £1020
•50+ Return to work payment (16-29 hours) : £1235
•50+ Return to work payment (30+ hours) : £1840
There is a childcare element with the WTC.The maximum eligible cost for one child in 2008-09 tax year is £175 per week and for two to more children is £300 per week.

Child Tax Credit ( per year)
•Child Tax Credit Family part: £545
•Family element, baby addition: £545
•Child element : £2085
•Disabled child element : £2540
•Severely disabled child element :£1020

If you need to know more about tax credits, Taxfile‘s tax accountants can help you decide whether you are eligible or not to claim tax credits.

What is equitable liability?

Information about equitable liability was published in the Revenue’s Tax Bulletin in August 1995.
Most people keep their tax affairs up to date and pay their tax in time time. However, where a taxpayer has not submitted his or her return, HM Revenue & Customs can determine the taxpayer’s likely tax liability so that the tax can be pursued. There is no right of appeal against such determinations, and the tax determined is legally enforceable. Taxpayers can displace the determination with their own self assessment at any time up to the fifth anniversary of the filing date for the year of assessment in question (or one year after the determination was issued, if later).
If a taxpayer receives an assessment and does not think it is right, he or she can appeal against it and has thirty days from the date on which the notice of assessment was issued to do so. Inspectors will accept appeals once that time limit has passed if they are satisfied that there was a reasonable excuse for not making the appeal within the time limit and the application to admit the appeal late was made without unreasonable delay thereafter. If the Inspector does not think these requirements have been met, the application must be referred to the Appeal Commissioners for a decision. The Appeal Commissioners are completely independent of the Inland Revenue and their decision on this matter is final.
Otherwise, an assessment is final and conclusive and the Inland Revenue is able to take recovery proceedings — through to bankruptcy if necessary — for the full amount. There is no legal right to adjustment of the liability.
However, where the taxpayer has exhausted all other possible remedies, the Inland Revenue may, depending on the circumstances of the particular case, be prepared not to pursue its legal right to recovery for the full amount where it would be unconscionable to insist on collecting the full amount of tax assessed and legally due.
This practice is known as ‘equitable liability’. The term ‘equitable liability’ reflects the original principle of fairness to other creditors.
The Inland Revenue may be prepared to consider applying ‘equitable liability’ where it is clearly demonstrated that:
• the liability assessed is greater than the amount which would have been charged had the returns, and necessary supporting documentation, been submitted at the proper time.
• acceptable evidence is provided of what the correct liability should have been.
In such cases the Inland Revenue may be prepared to accept a reduced sum based on the evidence provided, and not to pursue its right of recovery for the full amount.
The Inland Revenue would expect full payment to be made of the reduced sum. Furthermore, it would be most unusual for such treatment to be applied more than once in favour of the same taxpayer.
In determining the revised liability, the Inland Revenue will have regard to all the relevant circumstances of the case. Acceptable evidence of the reduced liability must be produced. It will not be sufficient to seek to replace the assessment merely with the taxpayer’s or the accountant‘s estimate of the liability.
In order to make a claim for equitable liability you need a tax accountant like Taxfile in South London to help you explain your circumstances and make sure the concept of equitable liability is applied and your tax affairs are dealt with in an equal and fair way.

What is the basic state pension?

The basic State Pension is money you may be able to get when you reach State Pension age. The amount you receive depends on the qualifying years you have built through your National Insurance contributions.

There are two circumstances to be considered:

If you reach State Pension age before 6 April 2010, you normally need to have 44 qualifying years to be entitled to the full basic State Pension if you are a man, or 39 qualifying years if you are a woman. In this case, to get any State Pension you need to meet two minimum conditions:

• you must have at least one qualifying year where you have paid or have been treated as having paid enough NI when you are in employment or voluntary Class 3 contributions.you cannot get any basic state Pension based on NI credits alone.(You will normally get NI credits when you are ill, unemployed or getting Carer’s Allowance)

• you must have at least 25% of the qualifying years needed for for a full basic state pension(11 years for a man and 10 years for s woman)to get any basic state Pension.

You will not be entitled to a refund of the NI contributions you have paid because those contributions pay towards other benefits like sickness, unemployment, and bereavement benefits.

If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010, the current contributions conditions are being replaced with new rules:

• the number of qualifying years needed to get a full basic State Pension will be reduced to 30 for women and men .

• you will no longer need to have 25% of the qualifying years needed for a full basic state Pension to get any basic State Pension.

• you will no longer have to have at least one qualifying year where you have paid NI contributions.

The minimum state pension amount is £21.83 a week and the maximum amount is £87.30 a week in 2007/08 tax year.

In order to make up for time when you did not pay NI , you may be able to pay NI Class 3. You have to pay the contributions within six years of the end of the tax year the payment is for.

If you are still confused about State Pension, Taxfile in South London can help you get a better understanding of it, explaining you the importance of filling in a retirement pension forcast form called BR19 so you know exactly where you stand.

Dealing with someone’s tax after they die

When somebody dies it is important to sort out their tax and National Insurance contributions as soon as possible. The ‘personal representative’ or the executor has to sort out the deceased person’s tax affairs, as well as the rest of the estate.There may be either tax to pay or a rebate from the Tax Office.
If the deceased paid tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE), their Tax Office will send the executor a form called R27 ‘Potential repayment to the estate’ to complete.
If the deceased person was self-employed paying tax through self-assessment, the administrator can choose to fill in form R27 in full – or only in part and then complete a Self Assessment tax return immediately or at the end of the tax year.
The deceased person will get their full tax-free personal allowance for the year of their death. They will also get a full year’s entitlement to any blind person’s or married couple’s allowance that was due to them for the full year.
If they did not receive enough income to use the whole of the blind person’s or married couple’s allowances, the personal representative can arrange for the unused allowances to be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner.
The personal representative may have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if profit is made from selling the property or possessions of the deceased. The executor is treated as acquiring the house at its market value at the time of death so CGT can only be payable if a profit is made after disposal and if it exceeds the ‘annual exempt amount’ (AEA).
You might find it very useful to ask a tax accountant for advice. Taxfile in South London can give you the best solutions when having to sort out a deceased person tax affairs.