|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will call for a report from HM Revenue and Customs as to the percentage of tax returns received by 31 October 2008 which had been processed by 31 January 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: Of 2.74 million paper tax returns received by the new deadline of 31 October 2008, less than 1 per cent. remained unprocessed at 5 February, the nearest date to 31 January for which HMRC has a precise count.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs spent on information campaigns relating to the smuggling and supply of illegal and counterfeit tobacco in each of the last five years. 
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs spent on reducing levels of smuggling and supplying of illegal and counterfeit tobacco in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The Government have clear objectives for the tax system, which include minimising distortions. For the introduction of any special reliefs the Government will need to be satisfied that there is clear evidence of the benefits, and that these outweigh the costs of the introduction of the measure.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost to the Exchequer of reducing to five per cent. value added tax on the supply of restaurants and catering services, exclusive of services relating to the sale of alcohol. 
Mr. Timms: VAT zero-rating currently applies to a wide range of goods and services supplied to disabled people for their personal use. Under the VAT agreements with our European partners signed by successive governments, we can retain our existing VAT zero rates, but we may not extend them or introduce new ones. It is therefore not possible to remove VAT from additional goods and services purchased by disabled people.
The same VAT agreements allow EU member states to introduce reduced rates of VAT of not less than 5 per cent. on a prescribed list of goods and services. All taxes are kept under review, but given the wide range of the UK's zero rates we see little scope within the reduced rate list for the introduction of further VAT reliefs that would benefit disabled people.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of (a) the total value of value added tax (VAT) relief on goods and services for people with disabilities, (b) the number of sold goods for disabled people which were VAT zero-rated and (c) the number of disabled people who have received goods and services that have been VAT zero-rated in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Timms: Estimates of the value of the VAT zero rate on vehicles and other supplies to people with disabilities are published in Table 7 of the Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs, available on the HM Treasury website at:
Mark Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with HM Revenue and Customs officials on changes to the interpretation of the rules on the recovery of value added tax for libraries and museums; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: There have been no discussions about changing the interpretation of the rules governing the scheme that provides for the recovery of VAT by libraries and museums under the provisions of section 33A of the VAT Act 1994.
The scheme was introduced as a part of the Government's commitment to make access to the main museums and galleries free. Because VAT can be recovered only on purchases relating to taxable business activities (such as charging for admission), abolishing admission charges could have left museums and galleries bearing the cost of irrecoverable VAT. The scheme refunds this VAT, but it is confined to museums and galleries. The National Libraries are included in it, but only in relation to their permanent collections on free public display.
Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many and what proportion of (a) new claims, (b) renewals and (c) change of circumstances claims for tax credits have been processed (i) within and (ii) after the target time in each month since the introduction of tax credits; 
(3) what targets his Department has set for the time taken to process (a) a new application for tax credits and (b) an application to renew a tax credits claim; how long on average it has taken to process (i) a new claim for tax credits and (ii) an application to renew a tax credits claim (A) in each year since the scheme's introduction and (B) in each of the last 12 months; how many new claims for tax credits have been received by the Tax Credit Office in each month since their introduction; and if he will make a statement. 
|Target||86% in five working days||95% in 30 working days|
In 2008-09 the Tax Credit Office (TCO) aims to pay 60 per cent. of all tax credits claims in 15 calendar days and all new tax credit claims in 20 calendar days In light of the difference to previous years' targets, HMRC is working hard to identify how resources can be most effectively deployed to achieve these revised aims. Separate information about the time taken to make payments in earlier years is not available.
|Target||86% in five working days||95% in 30 working days|
In 2008, HMRC had an internal measure that aimed to process 85 per cent. of tax credits renewals in 15 working days over the renewal period. Around 99 per cent. of renewals cleared from April 2008 to September 2008 inclusive were processed within the target time with an average processing time of around three days.
(c) For information about change of circumstances I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Cardiff Central (Jenny Willott) on 28 January 2009, Official Report , column 591W. Detailed information about the number of change of circumstance notifications received and processed is not available in the format requested.
For the number of new tax credits claims received from January 2006 to November 2008 inclusive, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Wealden (Charles Hendry) on 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 792W and the answer my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary gave the hon. Member for Cardiff Central (Jenny Willott) on 10 December 2008, Official Report, column 198W.
|Number of new claims|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|