• HMRC – Remarkable ‘U’ turn on Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits

    A difficult dispute over child benefit and child tax credits affecting the charedi community has now been resolved due to concentrated efforts of Chaya Spitz, Chief Executive of Interlink, Rabbi Pinter and Rabbi Baumgarten of the Orthodox Hebrew Congregations and Mr Michoel Posen of Agudas Israel Community Services.

    This effort was supported by the All-Party Group whose officers and members mobilised round the issue, demanding quick and transparent clarification from the HM Revenue and Customs and the Minister of the Treasury. By alerting officers and members of the APPG on British Jews and coordinating the action that need to be taken through the secretariat of the group, efforts were streamlined and coordinated well.

    Child Benefit as well as Child Tax Credits for eligible households, are available to all children up to the age of 16-20 who are in further, non-advanced education. Historically the HMRC has understood that yeshiva and seminary students were indeed eligible for these bene

    fits as the education being received was not considered advanced education. Due to this unexpected change in policy, many families of yeshiva and seminary students has their benefits suspended or refused, a small number of cases had made their way to the tribunal system.

    As of January 2014 HMRC have now concluded that any young person following yeshiva and seminary

    courses should be treated as in non-advanced education and therefore eligible for child benefit. Appellants in the courts have been notified of this decision and HMRC have now reversed its decision in favour. We delighted to report that suspended claims for many claimants have now been reinstated