The tax system is not the most straightforward thing in the world. Many people with full mental capacity and the ability to access the internet still find they need help to make sure they understand the HMRC policies and regulations.
Who helps vulnerable people with their tax?
This isn't just about paying the right amount of tax. Often people are entitled to reclaim tax they have paid. Those amounts can be significant.
HMRC has launched a two stage plan to make sure vulnerable taxpayers can get help. It is aimed at people who might:
- have difficulty accessing HMRC services because of illness, disability or digital exclusion;
- lack confidence, be overly worried, or be new to HMRC;
- lack the ability to deal with tasks, perhaps because of learning difficulties, memory problems or poor language skills;
- have mental health issues or be suffering extreme distress because of bereavement, relationship breakdown or another life event.
Stage 1 of the plan is for HMRC to allocate £1.6 million to voluntary and community sector organisations to give extra help to these people in 2019 / 2020. Stage 2 is a longer term strategy for HMRC to provide support to customers who need extra help. This is likely to involve the voluntary / community sector too.
Many people find tax a struggle, and it is good to see plans to help those who have more to contend with than most taxpayers.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.