Don’t get caught out over child benefit letters says tax expert

Middle class families in the region may be getting letters wrongly ordering them to repay hundreds of pounds of child benefit, tax expert Owen Kyffin warned this week.

Owen, who is a director of Whitley Stimpson Ltd, leading tax and business advisers said: “The letters from the tax authorities are dropping through the letterboxes now.  They urge families where one earner receives more than £50,000 a year and who were stripped of their entitlement to benefit last year to act now and repay their allowances.

“However I have had some instances where HMRC has got its sums wrong and has sent out some of these letters in error.  Anyone getting one of these letters would be urged to seek advice.”

Owen said the benefit concerned covered a three month period last year after the benefit was cut and a family would owe the tax authorities £263 for one child and £438 for two. 

Since January last year households with someone earning between £50,000 and £60,000 a year lost a proportion of the benefit and families with a parent earning more than £60,000 a year lost the benefit altogether.

He went on: “Many people have already adjusted matters through their self assessment tax return. HMRC is saying that anyone who has paid back any allowance should ignore the letters, but because of my experience with clients who have received these letters in error, I would advise them to get proper advice straight away.”

Whitley Stimpson advises on all aspects of tax affairs and Owen Kyffin can be contacted on 01295 220914 or owenK@whitleystimpson.co.uk