Tax credits trap awaits disaster victims' relatives

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Tax credits claimants making unscheduled trips abroad following the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster may lose support for childcare costs, a tax body has warned.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) said working couples may find themselves in debt, "particularly if the partner remaining in the UK needs to have childcare costs met in order to be able to work".

LITRG has taken up the issue with the Inland Revenue, with the support of other tax and welfare rights advisers. It considers the anomaly, which may can result in working couples losing the childcare element of working tax credit, to be a mistake that has "slipped through the legislative net".

LITRG explained: "The tax credit rules for people going overseas have been framed so that short visits overseas of up to 8 weeks, or 12 weeks for...

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Let's all write to our MP
Thank you for a very thought provoking article.

I think there are a number of problems with the Tax Credit legislation, not least of which is the assumption that all of us, including the self employed, will know exactly what our total income for the year will be when we are only three months through the year - civil service mentality for you!

But this particular problem is immediate and pressing. I have written to my MP, who has contacted the Treasury to try and do something positive about this. I encourage all readers to do the same. This is one topic where hopefully we will get a unanimous and cross-party sympathetic response.

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