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Tax, Child Benefit and Fairness

Have you received your High Income Child Benefit Charge letter? Mine arrived today, 22 November 2012.

In the present economic climate it is correct that child benefit should be looked at and the government assess whether or not it should keep paying it, especially to the better off in society. I do not have a problem with that. My issue is the ridiculous way the government is introducing the reforms.

If a couple both earn £49,000 they keep all the benefit, but if a single parent earns £50,001 he or she will start to lose some of the benefit and if they earn over £60,000 they lose the lot. How can it be right that one household with a total income of £98,000 still receives child benefit whilst another with £60,000 does not get any?

The new policy is being introduced on 7 January 2013. Why is the policy not being introduced at the start of a tax year, say 6 April 2013? This would be a lot simpler and straight forward.

The result of this tax reform is that 500,000 more people are likely to have to prepare and submit self assessment tax returns. The present government pays lip service to cutting bureaucracy but if it really wanted to why are taxpayers, who probably have extremely simple tax affairs, being made to file their own returns or pay my profession to do it for them?


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