Single Parents Penalised By New Child Maintenance Regulations

Single parents are expected to be penalised by the new child maintenance rules that came into play at the end of last month, child-maintenance-contactexperts claim.

The new rules mean that parents applying to use the Child Maintenance Service will be charged a £20 application fee,  as well potential extra fees for the collection of payments. The changes are predicted to have a negative effect on single-parent and perhaps low-income families who are most likely to need the Child Maintenance Service’s support.

Stephen Lawson, head of litigation at FDR Law, said:

[quote]”In the real world, we know ‘paying parents’ for a wide variety of reasons sometimes fail to pay their regulay payments to support their children. Many struggle financially after the breakup of a relationship and these new rules will make supporting their children that much harder.

Former partners will also suffer. They will receive less maintenance support and will now be penalised for a situation that is outside their control.”[/quote]

As well as the initial £20 application fee to use the Child Maintenance Service, paying parents will be charged a 20% admin fee for every payment they make via the Collect and Pay service. The receiving parent will also have a 4% deduction made on every Child Maintenance payment they receive.

This means that for every £100 assessed, the paying parent (who does not have the main day-to-day responsibility of the child) will actually have to pay £120. The receiving parent, meanwhile, that takes care of the child, will only receive £96 after the admin fee of £24 has been deducted.

Over the next few years, the Child Support Agency will be gradually replaced with the Child Maintenance Service, and all cases will be transferred accordingly. Parents will have a month to change to the new Direct Pay system, which deducts no extra fees for the paying and receiving of Child Maintenance, and pay any money they owe.

However, if they choose to stick with the Collect and Pay system, the new fees will be added to every maintenance payment handled.

Stephen Lawson advises that parents can avoid admin charges by making private agreements and by paying every instalment on time. Family charity Gingerbread also has an online tool to help families understand the new system and how this could affect them,

Lawson added:

[quote]These rules are designed to make people take responsibility for their own finances. But instead the very parents who need extra help will be let down by a system designed to support them.[/quote]

Inland Revenue Helpline Phone Number

 0843 178 4204

You can no longer contact Inland Revenue as its own separate department. Since April 2005, the Inland Revenue Department merged with HM Customs and Excise. All responsibilities for both governmental departments now come under HM Revenue and Customs. For this reason, when you call 0843 178 4204 to reach Inland Revenue, it will connect you to HMRC instead.

Inland Revenue Contact Numbers

Inland Revenue was responsible for the collection of several types of tax. HMRC now deals with all of these. By calling these numbers for help with the relevant taxes, you will reach HMRC. They will then provide the same service to you as Inland Revenue would have. See below for phone helpline opening hours and further down the page for postal addresses for each department.

Department
Phone Number
Opening Times
General Enquiries
0843 178 4204
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm
Income Tax
0843 178 4205
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm
Capital Gains Tax
0843 178 4206
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) Closed
Stamp Duty Land Tax
0843 178 4207
(Mon-Fri) 8.30am – 5pm
(Sat) Closed
(Sun) Closed
Petroleum Revenue Tax
0843 178 4208
(Mon-Fri) 8.30am – 5pm
(Sat) Closed
(Sun) Closed
Tax Credits
0843 178 4209
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm

General Enquiries

If you have any questions relating to Inland Revenue, call 0843 178 4204. HMRC can give you more information about the Inland Revenue services they now control. They can also direct you to the specific department that you want to contact Inland Revenue for. When you call about paying taxes you owe, you should have your personal details ready, such as your National Insurance Number. Send any written letters to the address below for HMRC to forward.

HM Revenue and Customs
Benton Park View
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

Income Tax

You must pay tax on most types of income, which your employer usually deducts from your paychecks. People in self-employment have to report their earnings and fill out Self Assessment tax returns. HMRC oversees the payment of Income Tax now, so call 0843 178 4205 if you have concerns relating to this tax. Contact HMRC to update your tax code if your income changes, as you may get a refund for any tax deductions if your income is under the Personal Allowance limit.

Pay As You Earn and Self Assessment
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AS
United Kingdom

Capital Gains Tax

When you sell or dispose of an asset after an increase in its value, you must pay tax on the gain. Some assets are tax-free, and you won’t have to pay tax if your gains for the year are lower than the tax-free allowance. Call 0843 178 4206 to report your capital gains for the tax year, or for help with working out if you owe any tax on your gains. Where you would have contacted Inland Revenue about this, HMRC now handles tax reports and payments on capital gains.

Capital Gains Tax Queries
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AS
United Kingdom

Stamp Duty Land Tax

You have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax when you buy property above £125,000-£150,000 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. If you’re buying your first home, you might have to pay less or even no tax. HMRC may charge you interest if you don’t send a tax return and pay the tax within 30 days of completing ownership of the property. Call 0843 178 4207 for assistance with calculating your Stamp Duty Land Tax, or to claim tax relief or an exemption from tax.

BT – Stamp Duty Land Tax
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1HD
United Kingdom

Petroleum Revenue Tax

Profits from UK oil and gas production are subject to taxes. This only applies to “taxable fields” from earlier than 16th March 1993. From 1st January 2016, Petroleum Revenue Tax has a rate of zero. This means that taxable fields can become non-taxable if they are withdrawn from the PRT scheme. Call 0843 178 4208 for more information on how this affects your income shares on production fields, or if you are responsible for a field and want to opt out of the PRT regime.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET

Tax Credits

Tax credits provide tax relief for people working for low income or who are responsible for children. This includes Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The conditions for these types of tax credits are different, so call 0843 178 4209 if you need to check your eligibility. You can apply for tax credits in advance if you know your income is going to drop. If you want to backdate your claim for more than the standard 31 days, contact HMRC to find out who is able to do this.

HM Revenue and Customs
Tax Credit Office
BX9 1ER
United Kingdom

Inland Revenue Contact Details

Inland Revenue was also responsible for the following departments. Click the links to find the current contact details for these departments, which are now run by HMRC.

Labour Considers Offering Month Of Paternity Leave For New Fathers

Labour is considering offering new fathers a month of paternity paternity-leave-ukleave, instead of  two weeks, should it get into power at the next general election.

The government party says that fathers of newborns will get four weeks of paternity leave instead of just two, and be paid twice the current rate, in a bid to encourage fathers to spend more time with their young children.

Experts also say that the move could help fathers become better role models for their children in later life, thanks to creating stronger bonds with their newborns from the earliest stage.

The proposed plans come from the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank (IPPR), whose ‘Condition of Britain’ report includes 30 costed ideas that could help form the basis of Labour’s manifesto. It argues that the current rate of paternity leave is the main reason many dads choose to go back to work early.

Statutory Paternity Pay is currently £3.45 an hour, which some companies top up with income – known as ‘enhanced’ paternity pay. They can also receive ‘additional paternity leave‘, whereby the mother transfers some of her maternity leave over to her partner should she wish to return to work early.

However, it has been found that only 55 percent of men choose to take their full entitlement of paternity leave available to them by the government.

IPPR says the rate of pay should be increased to the national minimum wage of £6.31 an hour, to encourage more men to stay at home with their young ones. The move would also allow mothers more freedom of choice over returning to work after having the baby, and make this transition easier.

IPPR’s senior research fellow Kayte Lawton said:

[quote]Fathers who take more than a few days off around the birth of their child are more likely to be actively involved in raising their child than those who do not.

“Their greater involvement in family life will also make it easier for mothers to return to work after taking maternity leave, which would help raise the family’s income and lessen the impact of motherhood on women’s careers.”[/quote]

Labour is currently studying the proposals, which would require £150 million in funding, to ensure the necessary costs can be met. If the proposal is passed it will become part of Labour’s manifesto for the next general election.

However, Conservative skills minister said the benefit would be too expensive to implement, and would “mean even more spending, more borrowing and more taxes”.

“Exactly what got us into a mess in the first place,” he remarked.

 

Self Assessment Helpline Phone Number

0843 178 4198

HMRC uses the Self Assessment system to collect Income Tax. While HMRC automatically deducts tax from wages, pensions, and savings, people with other income must report it to HMRC. To do this and pay any additional tax you owe, you need to fill out a tax return form.

If you don’t complete a Self Assessment return for each tax year before the deadline, you’ll get a penalty fine. This penalty starts at £100 for delays of up to 3 months but increases the later you leave it. HMRC could also charge you interest on late payments.

To avoid extra charges, call HMRC on 0843 178 4198 for help with Self Assessment tax returns.

Self Assessment Contact Numbers

You can contact HMRC regarding Self Assessment on any of the helpline numbers below during opening hours. Otherwise, these phone lines close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday. Call the general enquiries helpline if you aren’t sure what you need to do.

Department
Phone Number
Opening Times
General Enquiries
0843 178 4198
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm
Online Services
0843 178 4199
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm
Payments
0843 178 4200
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm
Update Information
0843 178 4201
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm
Order Forms
0843 178 4202
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) Closed
Complaints
0843 178 4203
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 8pm
(Sat) 8am – 4pm
(Sun) 9am – 5pm

General Enquiries

If you have any questions about how to fill out a Self Assessment tax return form, call 0843 178 4198. HMRC will provide information and advice on the best way to file your tax return according to your circumstances. If you miss the deadline for that tax year by more than 3 months, you can ask for an estimate on the penalty charge. You can also enquire about appointing an agent, trusted helper, or intermediary to handle your tax returns on your behalf.

Online Services

Most people will use the online Self Assessment services for their tax return as they are much faster. However, sometimes you may experience issues with the website. Call 0843 178 4199 for assistance with filing your tax return online, or accessing your account. When you register online, you should allow a few days for HMRC to send you a letter with access instructions.

Payments

Call 0843 178 4200 for help with how to make payments on your tax return. You’ll need your Self Assessment reference number to hand when you call. HMRC does not take payments over the phone, but they can advise you on how to pay. You can ask about payments on account or how to make a payment via post if you can’t pay any another way.

Update Information

HMRC will only contact you about confidential matters like tax by phone or post. If you have legally changed your name or moved to a new address, you need to report it to HMRC. Call 0843 178 4201 to update your personal information. You also need to call if you stop self-employment, as it will affect whether you need to complete a tax return.

Order Forms

You can download and print out tax return forms online from the HMRC website. If you don’t have a printer, call 0843 178 4202 to ask HMRC to send the forms to you. You can only order up to 10 blank forms of each type, but you should only need one for each tax year. Please be aware that HMRC no longer sends blank tax forms in bulk to tax agents.

Complaints

To make a complaint about the Self Assessment service HMRC provides, call 0843 178 4203. If you feel that the service is too slow or too difficult, you can call to let HMRC know. Ask how to appeal against a tax decision if you think that HMRC was unfair. When you receive a penalty charge, you can also appeal against it if you have a reasonable excuse.

Other Ways to Contact HMRC

If you need to get in touch with HMRC about Self Assessment other than on the phone, here’s how you can do it. If you only need general advice, contact @HMRCCustomers on Twitter. They are available until 10pm every day. Bear in mind that they can’t discuss your specific case with you, so don’t provide personal details.

If you’d prefer to write a letter to HMRC, you can send it to one of the following addresses. When you send your tax return by post, you should use the address on your tax documentation. Call the helpline for assistance with where to send your paper forms.

Department
Address
Self Assessment Queries
Self Assessment
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AS
United Kingdom
Complaints
PAYE and Self Assessment Complaints
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AB
United Kingdom

HMRC Warns Of Scam Emails Promising Tax Refunds

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is wishing to warn tax payers ab0ut phishing emails which promise a tax refund. These emails are not originating from HMRC but rather fraudsters who are urging victims to reply before the 31st July 2014.

HMRC said that in May 2014 over 11,000 phishing emails were sent which is up 131% on the same time last year. During the tax renewal period in 2013, HMRC received reports of around 25,000 spam emails between April and July.

The tax authority closed down 1,740 illegal sites that mostly originating from the likes of Bulgaria, Turkey and Spain during 2013. However, emails themselves also came from the UK and USA. If the recipient clicks on a link within the email, they are taken to a fake HMRC website and asked to provide bank details alongside other information like passwords. Personal details can then be sold onto criminals who may commit identity theft as well as stealing money from bank accounts.

HMRC is asking those who receive this type of email not to click on any links or attachments and should forward them on to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete them.

One scam email was sent from ‘taxreturn@hmrc.gov.uk’ informing them of a tax refund report of 2013. The email appeared to be sent from Tax Office Preston and contained an attachment which was a virus.

For more information about security, visit the HMRC website or call the helpline number advertised on this site. HMRC