HMRC to grant £1.6 million to support vulnerable taxpayers

12/10/2018 News Team

HMRC will allocate £1.6 million between April 2019 and 2020 to the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to support UK taxpayers who need extra help understanding and complying with their tax obligations and claiming their entitlements.

From 2020 HMRC will develop a longer term strategy, working with the VCS to provide support for customers who need extra help.

Funding bids of between £10,000 and £450,000 are invited, with a maximum threshold set at 50 percent of an organisation’s turnover. Organisations will need to satisfy all of the following criteria to be eligible to apply for grant funding from HMRC.

HMRC wants the VCS to help those customers it currently finds hardest to reach, or who cannot or will not interact directly with us, and so organisations must be able to identify customers who have HMRC-related issues and be able to help them with one or more HMRC services, for example: tax, tax credits, child benefit, and debt management support.

Organisations, which must be either a registered charity, a VCS organisation, a social enterprise, a mutual, or a co-operative, must be able to help HMRC customers in vulnerable/marginalised customer groups and who also display one or more of the following characteristics:

- Experience difficulties accessing HMRC services, due to illness, disability or digital exclusion.

- Lack confidence, and are overly worried about making mistakes or are new to HMRC services.

- Lack the ability to deal with tasks, for example, due to learning difficulties, memory problems, lack of language skills to be able to understand the tax system, complex working situations or several income strands.

 - Have mental health issues or are suffering extreme distress through life events, such as bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship.

Organisations must have three years of financial history in place and have a turnover of no less than £40,000 per annum. No directors can have been disqualified in the last five years.

No aspect of the activity funded by this grant may be party-political and the grant cannot be used to support or promote religious activity.

Successful organisations will be allocated an account manager from HMRC’s customer engagement team to: discuss and agree with proposed outcomes and measurement methodology; review the collected data by commissioning quarterly statistics and mid and end of year reports to evidence outputs and expected outcomes; and monitor invoices to agreed timescales and engage with the organisation to ensure delivery is within the agreed budget.

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