“ If you work and have children you might be eligible for a tax credit and for help with childcare costs. Why not have a look: you might be surprised to find that you qualify! „
I thank the lord for Working Family Tax Credits, I really don't know how i would cope financially without them.
So what is Working Family Tax Credit?
Working tax credit is a (benefits) system for families on low income, (I hate referring to it as a benefit) You need to be working over 16 hours a week and if you pay child care you may then be eligible to claim extra credit.
So how does it work?
Well it's an incentive to get low income families out to work.
Does it work?
OK, so I have heard very mixed reviews about this system over the years I have used WFT. I gather it depends on your situation as to if it's beneficial or not.
So here is my experience.
I have been claiming WFT since the day it was introduced, I personally have never once had a problem of overpayment! When I started my claim I was self employed and I am now employed in a part-time roll.
Whenever my working situation has changed I have simply called the helpline and they have amended the details that day. From the moment of you changing your income/ childcare details, they reevaluate your entitlement, they make the amendment very quickly (within 7 days) and normally when a change is made the make 2 payment's within 7 days as if starting a fresh claim, the second payment will be your normal weekly payment, (so your annual payment from date divided by the number of weeks left until April), the first payment is what you have left over (your remainder).
Most of the country are eligible to some sort of tax credit be it working tax or child tax be that a few pence or tens of pounds a month, this is why I don't look upon it as a normal benefit.
WTC is definitely an incentive for me to go to work, I am able to work £20 hours a week get to keep most of my wage as well as being eligible for top of the range wft.
I have a child who is classed as disabled by the government, so I a small additional amount from them to help with that.
I get some of my childcare paid for by them (which I think I touched on before).
This system really works for me! Unlike other benefits, such as housing benefits for instance, don't give you any incentive to go out and work. I have just had my working hours cut mack from 21 hours a week to 16.5 a week. After tax I have dropped £20.00 a week, before the drop in my hours I was entitled to just £5.00 a week, I am now entitled to £45.00 a week housing and council tax benefit.
I am so grateful as a single mother working in today's society I am so grateful to have the support and financial backing of the government.
If it wasn't for this system then my daughter and I would be living in poverty!
This is my experience.
Who Finds Time Conning?
Behind the dole door of Westminster that shows the number of unemployed, there is a bigger door that takes the flak which deploys an immeasurable poverty that has 'New Labor' written all over it. Working Family Credits is a tax that credits the poor with sums of cash, basically, credits is dished out to those people who know of the benefit system well. The actual number of families claiming this benefit is climbing. You may feel that in this climate the Tax system is in place to stop poverty, but alas I think differently. The system is in-place to en-sure the growing poorest workers to vote Labor. This is a biggest social group sector, by handing out lolly-pop token policies to this group, Labor feel it has done enough for this social group to buy their vote. The estates which these demised lives have been embedded in has been long forgotten. Many of the developments have been left behind along with Labors Manifesto promise of 1997 to get to the routes for Labor supporters. That means this social group. In the UK false politics is breeding faster than visionaries, which has in turn brought misery and poverty to low paid workers who barely survive to support families.
Tax credits actually help employers to realize that they still can take the bottom out of the minimal wage. - Yes you can still pay illegal pay because the tax credit system is there to subsidize claimant's lost income in economy daily baked bean and tinned Spam. This is still a benefit that the government installed purposefully to keep tabs on this social group and also make them reliant on the hand-outs. By incorporating another tier to the benefit system, this has allowed yet more opportunism into play such as fraud and multiple identity accounts by claimants who are hell-bent in taking advantage of the system. On the other hand the system hits the pensioners terribly, especially as those who are asset rich, but cash poor. - These same people have already paid into their welfare already, but via casino style banking blunders and been sent out to the trash alley; they are worthy for pension credits but cannot reap the rewards nor want to. The government has failed the growing numbers of pensioners. It is like a zoo Keeper showing the carrot to a starving Parrot and then throwing it to the vultures.
The word 'Credit' to me also makes me snigger, because the term itself is used endlessly in the private sector for completely different parables. - Westminster's term usage themselves, for a benefit assisted system is proof that they have been seduced by the 'credit culture'. This is also reality as they're spending to get ourselves out of recession, which baffles Mervin King the BoE Chief. Buying the UK out of the recession certainly derives from what the 'credit culture' has left us. What I can't relate to is the ample of public expenses going overseas, such as the EU membership and the 'War on Terror' and tax credit revenue going off to Eastern Europe to impoverish families in Poland - which in comparison to WFTC is astronomical, even with all the fraud, the public purse should make other expenditure cuts elsewhere without cutting the poorest workers with yet more bewildering cuts in benefits. Not that I'm a fan of WFTC, as it is administered un-fairly and caters for the benefit dependency life-style.
You may not be surprised that nearly 90% of one parent families actually are able to claim for this benefit, yet the statistics show many one parent families do not know or even have an inkling of what is available to them. The governmental system of producing information on WFTC is extremely slack. The mandatory 'Tax Credit Deadline' for the 31-07-09 TV advert is the only means of recognition that something exists, but too many 'it goes above their heads'. Not that they are unable to understand it, but many one parent families don't know the fundamental facts and like many people I've encountered, do not wish to consider filling in complex forms.
The other tail of two cities is the increasing number of duo co- habitable people, both working and also claiming WFTC. The reason the system allows this is due to lack of enforcement officers, combing districts and checking for signs of people co-habiting. Plus the increase of multiple accounts linked to same family members, who change their addresses, just like the MP's do at a whim; in a similar flipping mechanism that toys with fraud that is a guaranteed prosecution, unless you are a Member of Parliament. After just one month of stating that the laws will be strictly regulated. MP's themselves determine whether regulation is required. It is about as useless as handing a jail-bird his own cell keys. So you can claim that what is bred in Westminster it is also allowed in UK's inner society where even Police do not venture into, without a huge back-up team. The inland Revenue also take the same stance when credit is wrongly worked out and then the claimant is given 28 days to pay back the over payment of WFTC, otherwise interest will be added. For many poor people who are legitimate claimants that is a big ask, and also very stressful.
The Inland Revenue appears to handle the situation very heavily initially, all because some docile pen-pusher in the IR Office was off on a particular day so the forms were not formatted in time. The left arm doesn't talk to the right arm, and we are in a 'quick-fire' digital world whereby communications is as simple as a click of a mouse. Basically, the Inland Revenue works via a last Century part paper-based document format, that is pre-historic as is the staff that time watch and have as much Customer Care ability as a Nigerian Credit Card fraudster who sends bogus phishing emails to their unsuspecting victims claiming to be from Barclays. The TV hit show 'The FoneJacker' depicts it superbly.
WFTC reeks of systematic errors along with mass fraud, but comparing it to other matters that cost even more public money; I prefer the law makers to re-invent a banking system, that doesn't reward fraud, by chasing the 'real fraudsters who hide in Tax Havens - At present the pen-pushing Inland Revenue staff are up against a huge tide of unsustainable systematic avalanche of fraud. Which our corrupt policy makers and Bureaucrats have taught inner-city England. The real truth about 'New Labors' WFTC is that over the years the allowance has not gone up with inflation nor is even parable to increase of earnings in any of the working sectors 'public' or 'private'. What has happened now is; what was supposedly 'New Labor's' 'Get out of Jail Card' is potentially it's nemesis. The biggest mistake now is if Westminster after their well-earned breaks of 'feeding their ducks, in a public funded Duck-house' or 'working out ways of yet more property flipping'; are going to make huge cuts in schemes such as WFTC. If, matters do take that shape, the true unemployment figure will be unearthed.
Copyright - 07 - 2009 - 1st2thebar
I think the idea behind the tax credits is good, if only the staff that worked in that government department knew what they were doing!
Most families are entitled to at least £10 a week, not alot but its still free money! If you or your partner work over 30 hours a week you get a bonus of some description.
Some people claim tax credits and never have a problem, however these are few and far between.
There have been problems with HM Revenue and Customs claiming they have made an overpayment and demanding the money back, forcing people to take out high interest loans and plunging them into poverty, something which this system was meant to be stopping.
A problem i have had recently is i sent back my renewal form all filled in and signed only for them to cancel my claim. Now i have to start again filling all the initial forms in and waiting to be processed!
The second frustration i have had recently is as i was searching the internet regarding my maternity rights, i read that being on maternity leave the tax credits disregard a £100 a week of you income. I phoned them about this to see if we were entitled to anything extra, especially as my wages have more than halved a month. I was told that no, it does not make any difference whatsover.
Tax credits are a good idea and i know they help many people get back into work as they top your income up and also help with paying for childcare. A system like this is always going to be flawed but i think better staff training could go a long way!
The Working Family Tax Credit is quite simply an electoral bribe to subsidize the national minimum wage, both employees and employers dependant on Labor staying in power to keep this obvious perk. Its clever because, like most New Labor apparent giveaways, you have to apply for it with complex government forms (only deciphered by fraudsters and polish builders in Gdansk according to the Mail on Sunday) and so not enough people who really need it get the benefit are on it. They use a similar ploy with state pensions, proud and infirm old folks who thought a war, unable to gather enough energy or damaged pride to get to the benefit office to claim extra money what is already rightfully theirs.
If the government really wanted to empower poor people to get off benefits and into work through subsidy they would have dropped income tax rates, giving people enough money to pay their utility bills and rent, some two thirds of most low income peoples wages now. It would have been a much simpler and a hell of a lot cheaper to administer. The principal reason peole dont come off benefits and into work, via tax breaks like this, is because they are too proud to apply and take the money and too scared if they have to pay it all back on the threat of bailiffs when it goes tits up. I think unemployment rates are pretty constant and there just as many people out of work now as Thatchers day, the unemployment figures disguised by various incapacity and disabled benefits hiding the bulk of the jobless, and schemes like this just encourage fraud, waste and people who will vote Labor..
Nine out of 10 families with children in the UK are eligible for tax credit payments. Some single people are but its miniscule. The point of it is to try and encourage people off benefits, effectively subsiding and allowing employers to pay lower wages and for employees to not sign on, taking marginally less money from the tax pot. To actually claim the tax benefit of up to £5,500 a year you must be a parent and be in work. Claimants must predict their income on the basis of last years wages, payments clawed back if they earn more.
The system was bizarrely uploaded to the internet, meaning organized gangs could easily make multiple claims, the job centre head office themselves being embroiled in the misappropriation with thousands of false claims emanating from there. Treasury officials closed the website in 2005 as it sank in fraud.
Its noticeable that New Labor let people get away with over claiming the tax credit just before the general election and then publicly clamped down on the obvious fraud and misappropriation after the election, looking tough on crime and so appealing to the Middle classes again, yet insuring the vote of the poorer people who got all this free money. It was clear that our poorest working citizens were hardly likely to ring up the tax office and tell them you are over paying me by 60 quid a week as those utility bills and petrol tabs rocketed. The government knew this system would be expensive to run and riddled with fraud, yet they went ahead with it anyway, upgrading the 1998 hybrid to the current system.
The problems begins when people wages go up, therefore the subsidy should do the opposite ,but few people able to figure out what to do next, such is the complexity-like any tax form-of the adjustment. Of the 5, 6 BILLION LOST and unaccounted for so far from this giveaway most of that is money owned through overpayment, apparently costing more money to retrieve it than is owed. Some 14 million ended up in Eastern Europe! When you are confronted with a demand for two or three grand that you werent supposed to get and youre already flat broke then how can you pay it back?
Some people, Im sure, forget to tell the tax office their wages had gone up and expected the government to guess, so cutting their subsidy. The temptation is huge; again, those gas and leccy bills have to be paid. It now costs £69 to fill your petrol tank every week because of the Iraq war.
Another reason I dont agree with the Working Tax Credit is because there was always going to those high levels of fraud and miss-payment. I would have been so much cheaper to just keep the income tax levels really low for poorly paid workers than introducing this bureaucracy thats rife for fraud and fiddle. The only way to get people out of poverty is not to try and undermine the minimum wage with mass immigration and subsidies housing costs but to hold onto to good jobs, using that subsidy to stop out sourcing. Who exactly can afford to buy a house these days? With a minimum 15 grand deposit required and most people that can afford housing still paying off their student debt the money blown on the WFTC could have been used far more prudently, Mr. browns favorite word.
Fraud before the election
Without working families tax credits i wouldnt be able to go out to work. id be forced to go on the dole, and live in a council flat for the rest of my miserable life! As it is, i went back to work when my daughter was 2 months old, ok so it was pizza hut, but now, 3 years later, ive tripled my salary, work in an office and am saving for a deposit on my own house. We are so lucky in this country, some people take the mickey by saying they earn less than they do so they can have more credits, and ok, maybe thats ok if you truly do need to lie a little bit, everyone has told at least 1 white lie in their lives, but some people earn like a grand a week but then tell the inland revenue that they only work 16 hours a week, so get the maximum benefits. Thats not fair, they should be punished. Thank yourself lucky you live in england where we do get tax credits, and not somewhere where you would be forced to live in poverty.