Misleading HMRC High Income Child Benefit Charge Letters Suggesting Tax Returns Need To Be Amended
26th August 2014
The new High Income Child Benefit Charge started on 7 January 2013. HMRC are sending out blanket letters to everyone with income exceeding £50,000 and who are continuing to receive child benefit, suggesting that their tax returns for the year ended 5 April 2013 are incorrect if they have not included the High Income Child Benefit Charge on their tax returns. The letter suggests that the recipient of the letter should have included the charge on their tax return and is inviting them to amend their tax return. The letter contains a reminder to include the tax charge on future tax returns.
The letter does not make it clear that it is only if your income is more than £50,000 and is higher than your partner’s that this tax charge applies. HMRC have confirmed that they have made no attempt to cross check individual records to ensure that the person they are writing to is the higher-earning partner before sending out these blanket letters. HMRC have told us that they are relying on the recipients of the letters to call them and tell them where the letters have been sent out incorrectly.
If you receive one of these letters and you think it has been sent out incorrectly and does not apply, then we would suggest you contact HMRC and make them aware of this so that they can make a note on your records. If you need any help in calculating or understanding if the High Income Child Benefit Charge applies to you then please contact:
Karen Oliver, Tax Manager on 01273 701200 or firstname.lastname@example.org