Email Scam Warning in run-up to HMRC Tax Credits Deadline

Phishing scamsHMRC have sent out warnings over a significant threat from new ‘phishing’ emails purporting to be from them. They are, in fact, scam emails which include links to replicas of the HMRC site and are designed to trick people into disclosing security-sensitive financial and personal information such as bank details, National Insurance numbers, credit card details, passwords, mother’s maiden names and so on. In the wrong hands these details could mean theft of your money or even your identity. Many people do not realise they have been scammed until it’s too late so taxpayers need to stay alert when checking emails and browsing online.

HMRC state that they never ask for payment and personal information by email and also warned people to be very wary of opening email attachments as many contain malicious code of one form or another. This is especially difficult because some of the fraudulent emails look very genuine, even appearing on casual inspection to come from an email address like and containing promises of tax refunds or Read more

What 31 August means for Child Tax Credit (“CTC”) and Child Benefit

On 31 August, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (“CTC”) will cease for children, aged 16 at that date, who have left approved* education or training. However if they continue in approved training/education then these benefits may continue but only if the parent or claimant has told HMRC’s Child Benefit Office and/or Tax Credit Office (note that parents/claimants must notify *both* departments if they are claiming both of the benefits).

* “Approved education” means that the child remains in full-time, ‘non-advanced’ education at school/college (e.g. ‘A’ Levels).
“Approved training” means that the child is participating in, has enrolled in, or been accepted for one of the following types of course prior to reaching 19 years old: Read more

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for people under 65, including children, who have normally care needs or encounter problems getting about.
Disability living allowance (DLA) is paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you.
There are two types of disability living allowance:one is the care component and the other is the mobility component. You may be able to get one claim or even be entitled to both.
For the care component there are three types of rates. Lower, middle, and higher. To be eligible for the lower rate, you must need help or supervision for most of the day or be unable to cook a main meal for yourself. For this lower rate you would be entitled to £17.75 per week. If you were receiving the middle rate you would get £44.85 per week, this would be because you would need personal care continually through the day or night. To be entitled to the higher rate you would need help throughout the whole day and during the night as well, the higher rate pays £67.00 per week. Even if you live alone and no-one is actually giving you the care you need, you still can get the care component for Disability Living Allowance.
There are only two types of rates for the mobility component, lower and higher. To get this part of the disability living allowance, you must have difficulty in getting out and about. For the lower rate, you would get £17.75 per week if you need guidance or supervision out of doors or in unfamiliar places. For higher rate of this component, you would be entitled to £46.75. This would be because you are unable or virtually unable to walk, or if you have no legs or feet, also if you get very short of breath after only walking a short distance.
To claim DLA you must have needed help for at least 3 months and be likely to need it for another 6 months. However there are special rules that apply to people that have a terminal illness, this allowing them to get the allowance more quickly and easily. This must be claimed before you reach 65.
If you were to start getting the DLA there is chance it could increase your other benefits such as Council Tax Benefits, Working Tax Credits, Pension Credits, Income support, Housing Benefit and Child Tax Credit. This is because Disability Living Allowance is normally ignored as income for working out these income-related benefits and credits.
To claim for DLA, you can call the benefit line enquiry on 0800 88 22 00,download a form from the governments website or contact your local Jobcentre office or local social security office.
We hope you found this useful, and if you do have any more questions regarding anything to do with Disability Living Allowance, please feel free to pop into our office in South London, Tulse Hill, talk to our accountants and tax advisors in our Exeter office, or send us an email.