In 2013 HMRC introduced the controversial scheme to make high earners repay some or all of their child benefit, even where the high earner (over £50k annual income) in a couple does not receive the benefit. Many people did not realise that they had the obligation to declare this, and ended up being charged retrospectively with penalties for late payment and “failure to notify”. HMRC have now admitted that they should have handled this better, and are writing to people who they believe were affected, offering to refund the penalties (but not the actual benefit repayment charges). HMRC says that people who were in this position should hear from them over the next 6 months, but if you think that you should qualify for this and don’t hear from them, it may be worth contacting them and asking for a review.

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Author: Anthony Barron, Tax Manager, Plus Accounting

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