Tax Return Bill With £0.00 Penalty Delivered To Watford Family

self-assessmentA Watford man was stunned when he received an unusual penalty from Her Majesty’s Revenue And Customs. Nico Caputo, 39 years of age, received a letter that was hand delivered for his wife Joanna. The man who delivered the notice said that Mrs. Caputo owed HM Revenue And Customs the amount stipulated on the letter. But when he opened it, he saw that the penalty was for £0.00.

Nico Caputo has slammed Her Majesty’s Revenue And Customs for wasting his time and wasting tax payers’ cash in order to deliver the useless bill by hand.

He explained what happened when he received the letter:

[quote]I opened the door. A man in a black suit handed me the letter. He said they wanted to give it to us in person so he knew we had it and could be told we faced court action. Then he left. Obviously it was a ­computer generated letter but a human has to pick it up at some point.[/quote]

The mistake happened because Joanna Caputo, 29 years of age and who now work as a teacher, registered as being self employed in her Self Assessment back in 2010. She was told the tax office when she had a change in circumstances, but Mr. Nico Caputo does not believe that the staff made the amendment on their system.

A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Revenue And Customs explained that this should not have occurred. They said:

[quote]In general these letters go to people who haven’t sent in their tax return as the law requires and where penalties might be due.[/quote]

Self assessment is something that forms an important part of tax returns. It  is the process of completing an annual tax return that demonstrates your income and capital gains.  Most British citizens with straight-forward taxes will just pay what is due on earnings and pensions through their tax codes. However, those who are self employed, directors of companies, make their money from abroad, etc. may need to complete a tax return.

Her Majesty’s Revenue And Customs is a non-ministerial department within the United Kingdom government that oversees everything related to tax as well as the payment of some forms of benefits. It was formed through a merger between Her Majesty’s Customs And Excise and the Inland Revenue. This took place on April 18th 2005 under the direction of the former Chancellor Of The Exchequer Gordon Brown in his Budget on 17th March 2004.

Child Tax Credit Helpline Phone Number

0843 557 3382

Contact HMRC regarding your Child Tax Credit payments by calling them on 0843 557 3382.
For all the reasons you may need to call this number, scroll down the page.

Child Tax Credit Contact Number

You can call the Child Tax Credit helpline any day of the week during the following opening hours.

Phone Number
Opening Times
Child Tax Credit
0843 557 3382
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
Child Tax Credit
0843 557 3382
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
Child Tax Credit
0843 557 3382
(Sun) 9am – 5pm

Check Your Eligibility

If you’re responsible for any children, you can claim Child Tax Credit payments for financial support. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t working, as long as your circumstances meet the other criteria. For example, if you have any children under 16 years old, or under 20 and in eligible education or training. Call 0843 557 3382 for advice on whether you can get Child Tax Credit.

Check Payment Rates

You can also call 0843 557 3382 to get an estimate of how much Child Tax Credit you will receive. This depends on how many children you have, and when they were born. HMRC could pay you up to £2,780 per year for each child, or up to £3,175 on top of this amount for a child with a disability. HMRC pays Child Tax Credit every four weeks to the child’s primary carer only.

New Claims

To apply for Child Tax Credit, call 0843 557 3382 and request a form. HMRC will ask you for more information to make sure you qualify. You’ll need to know your National Insurance Number, your income, and details of any benefits and childcare payments. The form could take up to 2 weeks to arrive in the post, and 5 weeks to process. HMRC will backdate your claim for 31 days.

Universal Credit

Gradually, the government is replacing several benefits with the newer benefit Universal Credit. If you live in an area where Universal Credit replaces Child Tax Credit, then you can only apply for Child Tax Credit if you have 3 or more children, or if you or your partner are State Pension age. HMRC will contact you first if your Child Tax Credit is being replaced by Universal Credit.

Change of Circumstances

Whenever your circumstances change, contact HMRC to let them know as soon as possible. Certain changes to your circumstances could affect your Child Tax Credit amount, whether you will receive more or less than before. If you don’t report changes, you could be fined up to £300. You don’t need a form to do this, you can just call 0843 557 3382 and update HMRC.

Other Ways to Contact HMRC

If you need general advice about Child Tax Credit, send a tweet to @HMRCCustomers. HMRC Customer Support will help you from 8am-10pm (except Sunday, 9am-10pm). However, they can’t investigate individual cases, so do not send personal information to them on Twitter.

To make a complaint or notify HMRC about a change of circumstances in writing, send your letters to the address below. If you are making a new claim or renewing your Child Tax Credit, contact HMRC first to find the specific department address you need to send them to.

Child Tax Credit
Customer Services
HM Revenue and Customs
Tax Credit Office
United Kingdom

Ex-Headteacher Banned For Life From Teaching

An ex-headteacher from the area of Wickford, south of England, hasheadteacher-banned-criminal-record been banned from teaching for life after she admitted to five counts of unacceptable professional misconduct during her previous post.

Mrs Carole Ritchie, 57, was a school headteacher at Castledon School before mysteriously taking five months’ paid leave and then resigning from her post. After a full tribunal inquiry, she received a lifetime ban from the profession of teaching after she was found guilty of a number of misconducts.

One of them involved her hiring her now-husband, Mr. Colin Ritchie, to work as a senior teaching assistant at the school, even though he had criminal convictions and no previous experience in the field. The post was not advertised, and no Criminal Records Bureau check was carried out.

Stephen Nunn, the school’s human resources advisor, warned Ms. Ritchie against hiring her then-partner on the basis he was not suitable, but she refused to listen.

Three months later when her partner had resigned from the post, Ms. Ritchie hired his firm CPR to carry out building work on the school. She handed out six projects to the firm without getting at least three competitive quotes beforehand. Three of the projects also ran over budget by about £60,000.

A notice published on behalf of the Secretary of State Michael Gove said:

“The admitted facts disclose failures that together demonstrate very poor judgement and a lack of compliance.

Her proper handling of other contractors led the panel to conclude that her disregard of procedures was both selective and deliberate.”

With reference to Ms. Ritchie’s recruitment, the notice said:
“The facts in this case centre on Mrs Ritchie’s failure to follow proper financial and recruitment procedures at the school; procedures that were in place to ensure the appropriate use of public monies, and to safeguard pupils.”

The Castledon school Governing Body said they conducted a full inquiry as soon as it came to light that Ms Ritchie had not been following the correct processes with regards to financial expenditure and recruitment. Ms Ritchie is said to have appeared before a panel of governors before she was dismissed.

The findings were passed on to the National College for Teaching and Leadership and Ms. Ritchie was banned from teaching for life by the Education Secretary.

She has 28 days to appeal the ban, however, and may also apply to have the ban set aside after two years.

The Chair of governors, Nan Ashkettle, also said the matter had been referred to the local police who, after investigation, did not decide to proceed with the case.

US Firm Eyes UK ‘Tax Haven’

Retailer Mothercare has accused a US-based firm of launching a £266 million takeover bid for the sake of cutting their Corporation Tax bill. The baby and toddler retailer, who is struggling financially, has rejected two informal offers from Destination Maternity, it emerged recently.

Bosses at Mothercare said that Destination Maternity ‘greatly undervalued’ the company and did not reflect its recovery and growth prospects. However, insiders are claiming that part of the appecorporation taxal of the takeover was the UK’s low rate of Corporation Tax- currently 20% compared to 38 per cent in the USA. Destination Maternity confirmed that if the deal went through it would create a new holding company in the UK with shares remaining in the US.

Previously, American pharmaceutical company Pfizer planned to use the same tactic with its failed takeover of AstraZeneca. The tactic is known as tax inversion. The chief executive of Destionation Maternity called the tax rate ‘the icing on the cake’.  However, he insisted that his company’s heart was in the right place, with the aim of creating a global leader in maternity, baby and children’s products. The deal would create more than £1.45 billion worth of annual sales. Destination said that it would sell some of its products in Mothercare stores, but could not rule out job losses.

The approach from the company comes as Mothercare battles to fight back from a lack of sales because of competition from supermarkets and others. It recently recorded losses of just over £21.5 million. However, overseas Mothercare is doing much better with a joint venture in India.

Mothercare chairman Alan Parker said:

[quote]” The board has given these proposals full and thorough consideration. We do not believe they reflect the inherent value of Mothercare to our shareholders or its prospects for recovery and growth.” [/quote]

MPs Say Teenage Criminal Records Should Be Wiped Clean On 18th Birthday

A new review from a group of MPs and members of the House of Lords has called for teenagers’ criminal records to be wiped clean on criminal-records-uktheir 18th birthday.

The report claims that for many children and teenagers, their criminal record only serves as an ‘anchor’ to the past, hampering their education and hindering their opportunities for employment.

For teenagers that have proven their ability to abide by the legal justice system for a considerable period of time, wiping their criminal record clean could be the crucial step needed to fully complete their reform and put them on track to an improved life.

Inquiry chairman Lord Carlile said:

[quote]What we find is that people whose lives have been reformed – they’ve graduated, they’ve maybe become teachers or lawyers or accountants – are inhibited when obtaining work because CRB checks and other records show that they have committed an offence, for example the robbery of a mobile phone, when they were 16 years old.

It’s held against them for a very long time. So we think that if people have been through a good criminal justice system, they should be able to wipe the slate clean when they become an adult”[/quote]

As well as calling for records to be wiped clean at the age of 18, the inquiry also suggested that the current time periods for the elimination of convictions and cautions should be decreased. Under existing rules, convictions for under-18s stay on record for five and a half years, whilst for cautions it is two years. And some offences are never removed.

The inquiry claimed that evidence implied that children are often not aware that community resolutions, youth cautions and youth conditional cautions can still appear on criminal record checks. One young person is said to have described these low-level offences as an ‘anchor’ to the past.

However, Lord Carlile mentioned that a “decent time lapse” should be in place for more serious under-18 offences.

The report also threw doubt on the youth justice system as a whole, with regards to its systemic practices and its “inability” to prevent offending.

For one, Lord Carlile said that courts could be terrifying for a child, with many of them not understanding what is happening or what is expected from them. This prevents them from engaging with the process and the courts from achieving justice.

He said that the system must be made “much more accessible and understandable” for children, their parents and guardians, and for the victims.

In addition, it was found that many legal practitioners, including the judiciary, are “insufficiently trained” to recognise the needs of young offenders and lack the specific knowledge needed. Meanwhile, youth courts are often used as a place for young lawyers to ‘cut their teeth’, meaning many representations are not as qualified as they could or perhaps should be.

Lord Carlile stressed that no one, including judges and advocates, should be able to work in children’s courts without proper training.