HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has pledged £2m a year for the next four years to support people needing help with their taxes, benefits and tax credits.
The department has awarded 17 grants to 10 Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations working across the UK.
In this funding round HMRC is seeking to build on achievements across the sector in previous years, increasing both the reach and numbers of vulnerable people that the VCS will be able to support.
Stephen Banyard, Acting Director General for Personal Tax, said:
“The money goes to provide independent, trustworthy support for vulnerable people and those on low incomes, to help sort out their entitlements and tax problems.
“The organisations we are funding provide support to people who may not normally come to HMRC for help and advice but who may need a helping hand understanding what benefits and credits they are entitled to claim and how the tax system affects them. For example, some of the funding will go to organisations such as Citizens Advice and Tax Help for Older People, who can help those who have worries about their finances and taxes.”
Part of the funding goes to new ways of providing support - for example, a project piloting video link-ups from a number of locations throughout England to the charity TaxAid’s specialist advisers. Funding also goes to VCS training – for example, Gingerbread will deliver training courses in Tax Credits for advisers working with lone parents.
Notes for editors
1. HMRC’s funding programme is open to applications from social enterprises, co-operatives, large and small mutuals, in addition to voluntary and community organisations and charities.
2. HMRC announced its 2011/15 funding programme in January 2011 and invited Voluntary and Community organisations to apply for grant funding to cover 2011/12 to 2014/15. A list of the successful organisations, details of their projects and amount of award are at:http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vcs/funded-orgs.pdf.
3. HMRC has operated a multi-year funding commitment since 2007/08. The current funding runs over the four years 2011/12 to 2014/15. The programme will continue to:
* Help hard-to-reach and vulnerable customers get the right entitlements and to pay the right amount of tax;
* Improve the experience of hard-to-reach and vulnerable customers in their dealings with HMRC; and
* Help HMRC to gain a better understanding of the needs of customers who seek support from the voluntary and community sector.
4. For further information, see: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vcs/grant-funding-news.htm.
5. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk
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