What is LITRG?

The Chartered Institute of Taxation is the leading professional body for tax in the UK and created the low income tax reform group or LITRG for short.

For over 20 years the LITRG has been actively striving to enhance the policies, procedures and programs connected to taxes, tax credits and welfare systems for the advantage of people with low incomes.

As a charity ran by CIOT the LITRG is not part of HMRC and aims to assist and provide knowledge to those in the community who are least able to pay for tax advice.

All their efforts are dedicated towards improving the tax and benefits experience for all types of workers including the employed, self employed, agency workers, pensioners, migrants, students, disabled individuals and carers.

LITRG recognises that taxation and related welfare laws and administrative systems are not always developed with the lower income user in mind which can sometimes make the lives of those they attempt to support more difficult.

How can LITRG help with my tax query?

The LITRG is unable to directly help individuals and instead directs them to the best places for official tax guidance, advice or assistance.

Mainly through their website the LITRG serves as a thorough and up to date authority for low income taxpayers, tax credit claimants and their advisors regarding taxes, national insurance contributions and tax credits.

The low incomes tax reform group website provides users with a range of resources to better understand their taxation matters.

In addition they publish frequent news reports highlighting recent changes and subjects of significance.

Importantly the factsheets, guides and news reports are all written with the end user in mind making even the more complex areas of tax easier to read about and understand.

HMRC are there to help initially

You can reach out to HMRC through various channels such as phone, online chat, and post.

It’s recommended to contact HMRC initially when attempting to resolve any tax related issues.

HMRC strives to rectify any inaccuracies on their part, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that you only pay what is rightfully due. If you believe that the initial response from HMRC is unfair, you have the right to lodge a complaint.

HMRC will then review your case at a complaint level in an attempt to find a mutually satisfactory solution.

If you are dissatisfied with HMRC’s final decision it may be worthwhile to seek assistance from a charity organisation like TaxAid to help with your case.

Who can use the low income tax reform group website?

It is important to be aware that the subjects covered are tailored for people of lower incomes and only comprise certain sections of the tax system.

No exact definition of ‘low income’ exists with the LITRG taking into account peoples’ financial situations and if they are unable to pay for professional help when choosing issues to provide support.

Those with low income may have differing taxation requirements depending on their employment status.

For this reason different categories have been created including:

* Employed
* Self employed
* Those taking on an employee
* Agency Workers
* Apprentices
* Migrants
* Pensioners
* Disabled people (and their carers)
* Students

Some guidance is also provided for parents and others who may not be considered ‘low income’ who are taking advantage of childcare assistance, claiming child benefit or tax credits.

Over the age of 60 and need tax guidance?

If you are aged 60 or over tax help for older people provides expert guidance to those with lower incomes ( roughly earning less than £20,000 gross per tax year).

To be eligible for this free support, individuals must be nearing the age of 60 or over and family members or friends who are responsible for the well-being of an eligible elderly person can also seek assistance on their behalf.

Tax help for older people is available throughout the United Kingdom and can address a wide range of issues.

The majority of problems are resolved remotely, either through phone consultations, email communication, or written correspondence.

Revenue benefits website

The award winning website www.revenuebenefits.org.uk was produced by LITRG and in partnership with rightsnet.

Partly funded by HMRC it provides assistance to advisors, comprising of explanatory guidance, legislation, resources, and policy documents concerning tax credits, child benefit, national minimum wage and the shift to universal credit.

Supporting charities and organisations

The low income tax reform group collaborates with other charities and organisations.

They support initiatives like tax and tax credit workshops and participate in various tax and benefit consultative groups advocating for those who cannot access professional advice.

LITRG also backs the Bridge the Gap campaign which helps encourage professional tax advisers to give their time pro bono to charities such as TaxAid and the specialist charity Tax Help for Older People.

Best practice and governance

Part of what the LITGR does is based on the ethos that the operations of HMRC, DWP and other related government departments should be monitored to determine if they are having any adverse effects on the less well off.

Some of the main topics that the LITGR oversees and focuses on includes:

  • HMRC and other government agencies providing the best possible information to all taxpayers, especially those with low incomes.
  • Reports should be written to address any areas of taxation that may be causing problems, and proposed changes should be outlined.
  • Finance Bills and other tax legislation should be analysed to identify any provisions that may negatively impact people with low incomes, and briefings should be prepared offering alternative solutions.

How to donate and volunteer for the LITGR

For donations and how to learn more about how to volunteer for the LITGR you can go to: https://www.litrg.org.uk/contact-us

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