HMRC to pay out thousands to those owed after Tax Credits Ltd closed
HMRC has said that tens of thousands of taxpayers could be owed £1,440 from the government if they have been caught up in the scam operation.
The warning comes after rebate firm Tax Credits Ltd (TCL) was closed over anti-money laundering breaches - having been judged to have failed to carry out assessments.
Angela McDonald, HMRC’s deputy chief executive, said: “[TCL] failed to carry out risk assessments, have correct policies, controls and procedures, carry out appropriate staff training and failed to provide registration information.
“TCL has ignored its responsibilities under the anti-money laundering measures designed to protect us all from financial crime. We will not allow a small number of bad actors to tarnish the reputation of the whole tax agent sector.”
The action on TCL follows an investigation by Money Saving Expert, which found thousands of complainants had been duped by the company.
TCL was found to have used fonts and graphics to mimic HMRC adverts, and written unclear terms and conditions.
While the tax office was investigating TLC it paused outstanding claims for a tax rebate made via the firm - which charged a fee of 48 per cent.
Anyone now waiting for their rebate will be refunded by HMRC and if you have had 52 per cent then you will get the remaining 48 per cent with all customers reimbursed by the end of March.
HMRC said: “Previously we stated that TCL clients who used a sign-up process that involved a paper form, formerly considered to be what’s known as a valid assignment, would receive their refunds through Tax Credits Ltd.
“However, this has not been possible within a reasonable timeframe so to avoid further delay these clients will now receive any refunds they are due directly from HMRC; all refunds will be made automatically, and these clients do not need to take any action to receive their money.”
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Update (March 15 2023): Following publication of this article, representatives of Tax Credits Limited contacted The Independent with the following statement: “Tax Credits is a legitimate business. Its sole aim was to assist people in obtaining a rebate to which they were entitled and to which, without Tax Credit’s assistance, they may never have claimed. It has and continues to co-operate with HMRC and is extremely disappointed that HMRC has chosen to make public announcements before its enquiries have been completed, and before Tax Credits has had the opportunity to respond.”