Citizens Advice targets taxman

Citizens Advice has begun a campaign to stop the Inland Revenue from ‘clawing back’ tax credit overpayments which, it argues, contributes to thousands of people living below the poverty line.

The charity is calling for an overhaul of the Inland Revenue’s approach to overpayments and for clarification on the ‘confusing bureaucracy’ that surrounds entitlement to tax credits.

‘The lack of information provided by the Inland Revenue makes it virtually impossible for people to work out whether they are getting paid the right amount,’ said Citizens Advice acting head of media Moira Haynes.

She added that refusal by the Inland Revenue to write off overpayments can leave low-income beneficiaries, who may have spent the money before being informed they were overpaid, struggling to cope.

The charity plans to make policy recommendations on how to tackle the problem in a report this spring.

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