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Dawn Primarolo: In pre-Budget report 2005 the Chancellor announced a package of changes to North sea oil taxation to make sure that the North sea tax regime strikes the right balance between oil producers and consumers, by promoting investment and ensuring fairness for taxpayers. As part of this announcement the Chancellor committed to no further increases in North sea oil taxation for the lifetime of this Parliament.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are being taken to collect tax from offshore online, mobile and interactive gaming companies who advertise in the UK for business. 
John Healey: UK gambling duties are only levied on operators based in the UK. Operators based offshore are not liable for UK gambling duties, but are liable for the relevant duties in the jurisdiction where they are based. Normal UK corporation tax rules also apply.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to public funds, assuming no changes in behaviour, (a) including and (b) excluding changes to tax credits and benefits of increasing personal allowances in increments of £1,000 to twice their current level. 
|Age under 65 (£)||Age 65 to 74 (£)||Age 75 and over (£)||Blind person's allowance (£)||Excluding benefits adjustments(27)|
|Including benefits adjustments(27)(5508840028)|
Entitlement to some tax credits is based on gross income, and therefore would be unaffected by these changes. Estimates of the cost of changing the personal allowances excluding benefits adjustments are based on the 200304 Survey of Personal Incomes projected forward to 200506. The estimates were adjusted for benefits changes using the Department's tax and benefit model (IGOTM) based on the 200304 Family Resource Survey and projected forward to 200506.
John Healey: The Treasury has made no estimate of the worth of the recycling industry in the UK. However, an estimate can be derived from the Annual Business Inquiry survey published by Office for National Statistics. Based on this survey, turnover and gross value added for businesses involved in the recycling industry are shown in the following table:
|Turnover||Gross value added|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what circumstances trigger an investigation by his Department into possible fraudulent claims by companies for research and development tax credits; and if he will make a statement. 
Claims to R&D tax credits, along with other elements of companies' tax computations or returns, are subject to a process of risk assessment.
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When significant risks are identified they are pursued through a variety of interventions, one option being the opening of an inquiry into the company return or claim.
If, as a result of an inquiry, a return or claim is found to be incorrect and, as a result of this, insufficient tax has been paid, or an excessive amount of tax credit claimed, steps will be taken to recover the tax due. Interest will be charged and penalties will be considered where appropriate.
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 24 January 2006]: My written answer of 18 January 2006, Official Report, columns 135758W, set out that, as a result of identity fraud uncovered by HMRC, they would write to all whose names had been stolen for the purpose of fraudulent claims. HMRC has been working with DWP and Network Rail to advise those staff members affected. As part of the process of correcting the records, HMRC is informing individually all those whose identities were used in fraudulent claims that made it into payment.
HMRC will also shortly be writing to the remaining individuals who, according to investigations to date, have been victims of an identity theft unconnected to a specific employer. These letters inform them that their records have been corrected and highlight sources of advice on how to minimise the risks of identity fraud in the future. I can assure the House that genuine claimants will not be financially disadvantaged in respect of their tax credit claims.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what checks are in place to ensure that individuals from other EU countries who are claiming tax credits are resident in the UK for the duration of their claim. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Tax Credit Act 2002 section 3 (3) and (7) provides a general requirement for residency in the UK for tax credit eligibility purposes (unless prescribed exceptions apply). HMRC have a range of checks in place to determine the overall risk of a claimboth pre and post paymentand intervene where they suspect a claim may be wrong or fraudulent.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases of forged tax credits resulting in prosecution have been reported to Jobcentre Plus in Peterborough in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether tax credit call centre staff have been given guidance on handling calls from tax credit claimants whose awards have suddenly stopped and where identity fraud is suspected; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC Contact Centre staff have been provided with guidance for handling cases where identity or other fraud is suspected. It would not be appropriate to put details of that advice into the public domain.
Dawn Primarolo: Average numbers of in-work families, and their tax credit entitlement, by constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes for 200304 are published in "Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards 200304 Geographical Analysis." This publication is available on the HMRC website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-stats.htm This does not include out of work families receiving child tax credits.
Dan Norris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many residents of Wansdyke constituency were in receipt of (a) child benefit, (b) child tax credit and (c) working tax credit in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dawn Primarolo: The number of families receiving child benefit by constituency, at August 2004, is available in the HMRC publication "Child Benefit Statistics. Geographical Analysis August 2004", which can be found on the HMRC website: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/child_benefit/geographical.htm Figures for August 2005 are due to be published in spring 2006.
Estimates for 200304 of the number of in-work families with tax credits awards by constituency, including information on overpayments and underpayments, based on final family circumstances and incomes for 200304 are published in "Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards 200304 Geographical Analysis." This publication and
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provisional estimates for the number of in-work families by constituency with tax credit awards as at selected dates in 200405 are available on the HMRC website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-stats.htm
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of telephone calls (a) made to, and (b) picked up by, the tax credits helpline in November; how many of these were (i) engaged and (ii) abandoned; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The number of calls (a) made to, and (b) picked up by, the tax credits helpline in November; how many of these were (i) engaged and (ii) abandoned made to in November 2005, were as follows:
|November 2005||Calls in thousands|
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