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Child benefit charge: Any advice for families?

The new high income child benefit charge (HICBC) applies from 7 January – and anyone wishing to opt out of receiving child benefit for the 2012-13 tax year must do so before that date.

The Telegraph has warned of “tax chaos” as benefit cuts loom and follows Rebecca Benneyworth’s “train wreck” comments back in October.

How much will it add to the workload of the Revenue and advisers?

What advice and knowledge from the community is there on the incoming charge?


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03rd Jan 2013 11:20


HMRC are failing to inform people that they might want to opt out, because they don't know who to tell.  It follows that they also don't know who to tax at the end of the day.

Since HMRC has all the necessary information to enable it to ensure that the tax is collected if the benefit is paid, but seems likely to fail to do so, another round of ESC A19 denials seems inevitable.

RTI, auto-enrolment, universal credit, HIBC, cash basis for the self-employed; ill-conceived, ill-thought out, inevitably badly implemented and misadministered.  There's definitely a theme.  In the words of Rolf Harris, "Can you see what it is yet?".  It's the Sherriff of Nottingham (he's called George too!), collecting the Queen's ransom.

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04th Jan 2013 09:09

I am advising (my clients particularly those close to the limit) to take the child benefit and ultimately bear any consequences on the grounds that cash in the hand is better than future possible misery. One of mine is now going to put it into Premium Bonds - wins tax free

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By ACDWebb
04th Jan 2013 16:00

ESC A19?

Are they? They did a major mailshot with a fairly self explanatory flowchart at the beginning of December and apparently to anyone who had income >£50k and have been pushing it in news releases.

Of course none of that is to disagree with the "train wreck" views.

EDIT - fair enough, just seen a separate news item that HMRC say their mailshot may have missed nearly 1/3 of those they think might potentially be affected (just 300k) OOPS!

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