CTC 31 2006

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
JudgeJudge H. Levenson
Judgment Date20 December 2006
CourtUpper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)
Docket NumberCTC 31 2006
Subject MatterHuman rights law



1. This appeal by the claimant, brought by my leave granted on 21st March 2006, does not succeed. I confirm the decision of the Basildon tribunal of 14th September 2005, made under reference U/42/919/2005/00543, to the effect that the award of child tax credit made on or about 27th September 2004 cannot be further backdated beyond 9th December 2003

Background and Procedure

2. I held an oral hearing of this appeal on 21st September 2006. The claimant attended in person but was not represented. The respondent, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”, also referred to in some of the provisions as “the Board”) was represented by Clive Sheldon of counsel, instructed by Esther Isaacs from the office of the Solicitor to HMRC. I am grateful to all of them for their assistance. Following the oral hearing there was a further round of written submissions in relation to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”).

3. This appeal arises because of the replacement of Children’s Tax Credit (“old CTC”) by Child Tax Credit (“new CTC”) with effect from 6th April 2003. Old CTC was a tax allowance against taxable income and was in effect claimed on the annual income tax return. New CTC is claimed on a claim form within specified time limits, as is the case with most tax credits and similar benefits.

4. The claimant was born on 12th February 1953. He was a bank official until retirement/redundancy in 2000. The claimant had been claiming old CTC through his income tax return for some time. He states that he was not advised that, and was unaware that, old CTC was to be replaced by new CTC with a different method of claiming the new CTC. There was in fact widespread publicity about new CTC and a helpline telephone number was publicised – although, in the result, whether or not the claimant realised or should have realised that the system was changing is not really relevant to my decision. On 11th March 2004 he claimed new CTC on the relevant form and on 27th September 2004 the Inland Revenue (which has subsequently been absorbed into HMRC) made an award of £257.15 in respect of the period 9th December 2003 (effectively 3 months before the date of claim) to 5th April 2004. On 21st October 2004 he appealed to the tribunal on the basis that the award should have been backdated to 6th April 2003 for the reasons indicated above.

5. The tribunal considered the matter on 14th September 2005 in the absence of the parties and confirmed the decision of the Inland Revenue. On 27th November 2005 the District Chairman of the tribunal refused leave to appeal to the Commissioner against the decision of the tribunal. He now appeals by my leave, granted on 21st September 2006 so that legal aspects of this matter could be more fully considered.

The Rules for Claiming New CTC

6. Section 3(1) of the Tax Credits Act 2002 provides that entitlement to a tax credit for the whole or part of a tax year is dependent on the making of a claim for it. So far as is relevant, section 5 provides as follows:

5(1) Where a tax credit is claimed for a tax year by making a claim before the tax year begins, any award of the tax credit on the claim is for the whole of the tax year.

5(2) An award on any other claim for a tax credit is for the period beginning with the date on which the claim is made and ending at the end of the tax year in which that date falls.

7. The general rule, to be found in regulation 4 of the Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, is that the relevant date (or date of claim) is the date on which the claim was received (usually in an office of HMRC). This is subject to regulation 7 below.

8. So far as is relevant, regulation 5 provides as follows:

5(2) A claim must be made to a relevant authority at an appropriate office –

(a) in writing on a form approved or authorised by the Board for the purposes of the claim; or

(b) in such other manner as the Board may accept as sufficient in the circumstances of any particular case.

9. Regulation 7 provides that:

7(1) In the circumstances prescribed by paragraph (2) a claim for a tax credit received by a relevant authority at an appropriate office shall be treated as having been made on the date prescribed by paragraph (3)

7(2) The circumstances prescribed by this paragraph are those where the person or persons by whom the claim is made would (if a claim had been made) have been entitled to a tax credit either –

(a) on the date falling three months before the relevant date (or on 6th April 2003 if later); or

(b) at any later time in the period beginning on the date in subparagraph (a) and ending on the relevant date.

7(3) The date prescribed by this paragraph is the earliest date falling within the...

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