Parents refunded after officials wrongly fined them over child benefit
Thousands of parents have been refunded a total of £1.8 million after tax officials wrongly fined them for falling foul of child benefit rules
- Parents unfairly fined by taxman for falling foul of complex child benefit rules
- Thousands of families have now been refunded a total of £1.8million by HMRC
- The confusion stemmed from a clampdown on child benefit rules in 2013
Thousands of middle-class families have been refunded a total of £1.8million after the taxman unfairly fined them for falling foul of complex child benefit rules.
It involves parents who were hit with unexpected demands for thousands of pounds because they had wrongly received child benefit payments for years.
The confusion stemmed from a clampdown on child benefit in 2013: households where one parent earns more than £60,000 are not eligible for the payment, while those earning between £50,000 and £60,000 are only entitled to part of it.
In November HM Revenue & Customs admitted it had not done enough to inform families of the rules. Now, after investigating 35,000 cases, it has cancelled more than 6,000 fines [File photo]
Yet many high-earning families were advised to still claim the benefit because it counts towards state pension entitlement when one parent does not work.
If they did this, however, they should have later repaid the money.
But last year Money Mail revealed how many parents had failed to do so because they did not understand the rules.
As a result, they were ordered to repay the child benefit and fined hundreds of pounds.
In November HM Revenue & Customs admitted it had not done enough to inform families of the rules.
Now, after investigating 35,000 cases, it has cancelled more than 6,000 fines.
Refunds totalling £1.8million were made in 4,885 of these cases. The rest have not yet been paid.
In my case, that meant demanding an extra 20 per cent on top of the fees I’m paid by this newspaper, since I don’t write for anyone else. Every quarter, I then have to pass on to the taxman the VAT I’ve amassed in my capacity as an unpaid tax collector [File photo]
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