According to stories in the financial press, HMRC powers currently used to recoup unpaid tax directly from bank accounts could also be used to recover money from people paid too much in tax credits. According to HMRC figures, the proposed new powers will be used against 3,000 people a year. Critics have warned that the measure could see families placed in financial difficulty, (especially if money is incorrectly recovered), as tax credits are typically paid to individuals on low incomes.Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy stated: “Seeking to improve the accuracy of tax credit payments is sensible, but HMRC needs to tread carefully. It does not take much to push families into financial trouble and mistakes will be harmful.” The Building Societies Association has now joined the British Bankers’ Association and Federation of Small Businesses in warning that the new HMRC powers could lead to more people storing their money “under the mattress.”


Daily Mail, Page: 19   The Press and Journal, Page: 34