HIGH INCOME CHILD BENEFIT CHARGES NOT VALID

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Heather Maitland

HIGH INCOME CHILD BENEFIT CHARGES NOT VALID


A recent tax tribunal has ruled against HMRC who were seeking to raise tax assessments for the high-income child benefit charge (HICBC) for earlier years that had not been reported to HMRC.

HICBC is a special tax charge that applies where one member of a couple in receipt of child benefit receives income in excess of £50,000 a year. The charge is 1% of the child benefit received for every £100 of income in excess of £50,000, where income exceeds £60,000 the child benefit is fully taxed.

The problem is that many taxpayers whose income is taxed under PAYE do not receive a self-assessment tax return and may not be aware of the tax charge.  The taxpayer in this particular case fell into that category but reported and paid the tax when prompted by HMRC. They were then assessed to tax on the child benefit for the three previous years, but the court found that HMRC did not have the power to issue those assessments.