What is TaxAid? Tax advice for people with low incomes

TaxAid is a charitable organisation dedicated to assisting individuals with low incomes who face challenges with their tax matters.

It was founded by tax experts who were worried that low income individuals were significantly struggling due to the unaffordability of tax advice.

The charity supports the most disadvantaged 20% of unrepresented taxpayers with low incomes who cannot afford professional tax advice.

TaxAid offers free, independent advice on a variety of tax issues specifically impacting individuals with low incomes.

Why does TaxAid exist?

TaxAid represents a portion of the population that needs free tax advice to help them navigate the often overly complex tax system.

UK tax law is made up of a lot of rules and regulations with an estimated 98% of them not being relevant to taxpayers on lower incomes.

To avoid paying too much income tax (and other unnecessary tax demands) its vital that you find and understand the rules that apply to your tax position and your rights to appeal an HMRC decision.

If you don’t you run the risk of paying income tax or penalties (or both) that could be avoided.

HMRC has different processes in place to appeal some of their decisions and demands. To make the most of your appeal you must include the correct facts and figures and submit it within HMRC’s designated timescales.

Who does TaxAid help?

The charity gives support to those with low income specifically those earning £20,000 per tax year or less.

TaxAid can support both individuals who are self employed and employed under PAYE.

The demand for tax advice is especially important in circumstances like:

  • Overpaying income tax for years due to a lack of understanding of the rules.
  • Individuals not knowing how to exercise their right to appeal.
  • Self assessment late filing penalties.
  • Overpaying income tax due to having multiple forms of income simultaneously.
  • Unnecessarily being declared bankrupt due to tax demands based on estimates.

What type of support does TaxAid offer?

The support offered by TaxAid is provided by qualified professionals who can give confidential advice in cases where the tax system is unjust, inefficient or diminishes work incentives.

The need for assistance and guidance has increased as the tax system has become more complicated for low income individuals.

This encompasses late filing penalties, heightened focus on compliance activities, and stricter debt collection practices. These changes are particularly harsh for those with low incomes.

Members of TaxAid also train community advice agencies so they can identify problems, address initial steps, and make appropriate referrals.

This localised approach is a great way to proactively stop potential tax issues becoming a more serious problem in the future.

Have you contacted HMRC for support?

HMRC is available to talk to via phone, online chat and by post and should be contacted in the first place in an effort to solve your problem.

When communicating with HMRC bear in mind the significance of treating their personnel with due respect. Mistakes can unintentionally occur given the vast scale of the tax office and their systems.

HMRC typically makes a concerted effort to correct any inaccuracies on their part with their primary aim being to ensure you pay only what is due.

You are entitled to make a complaint if you feel that your initial reply from HMRC is unfair. HMRC will then review your issue at a complaint level to try and find an amicable solution for both sides.

If after you have had a final reply from HMRC and you are unhappy with their decision using a charity like TaxAid to help with your case is worth considering.

How do I contact TaxAid?

TaxAid operates a national helpline as well as providing advice via email.

0345 120 3779 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

You can contact TaxAid by an online contact form which you should receive a reply to within 14 days.

The charity’s website aims to make income tax information easily understandable for all taxpayers and let’s you know how to donate to TaxAid and offer your professional support as a volunteer.

Other tax support options

TaxAid aren’t the only options to get free tax advice if you are unable to afford a professional tax advisor or an accountant.

Low Income Tax Reform Group: Provides easy to read and understand online guides on an extensive range of tax subjects.

The topics covered include many of the most common encountered by taxpayers on lower incomes and suggestions are given for further support.

Tax Help for Older People: Is specifically for individuals over 60 years of age. It’s a charitable organisation and offers no-cost, impartial, and professional tax advice to elderly individuals with lower earnings who are unable to afford professional tax advice.

With the support of more than 420 volunteers and a nationwide call centre you can call them on 01308 488066, or reach out to us through post or email using the enquiry form on their website.

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