|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for how many calls an interpreter was provided on (a) the tax credits public helpline, (b) the tax credits intermediaries helpline, (c) the child benefit public helpline and (d) all other HM Revenue and Customs helplines in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07, (iii) 2007-08 and (iv) 2008-09. 
Mr. Timms: The breakdown requested is not available, as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) do not capture the use of interpretation services by helpline. In 2007-08 HMRC used interpretation services across its helpline services in a total of 420,000 occasions; in 2008-09 this figure was 839,000.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has responded to the Social Security Advisory Committee's Occasional Paper Number 7 recommendation (a) call-backs should be offered by DWP and HMRC contact centre staff when a customer is calling from a mobile phone, (b) HMRC helpline numbers should be transferred from 0845 to 0800 numbers and (c) the information about the cost of calling HMRC should be improved significantly; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) contact centres will begin an in depth review of its numbering strategy in the first half of this year, and will respond to the Social Security Advisory Committee's occasional paper no. 7 as part of this review.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps have been taken to improve the service of the tax credits public helpline to people from ethnic minorities under the race equality duty in the last 12 months; and what improvements are planned for the next 12 months; 
(2) what steps have been taken to improve the service of the child benefit public helpline to people from ethnic minorities under the race equality duty in the last 12 months; and what improvements are planned for the next 12 months. 
HMRC Contact Centres recognise that some customers can face issues around language and that these issues present barriers in their dealings with the Department. In the last 12 months the Department has carried out a review of the interpretation services it offers those customers. As a result it has introduced a pilot that enables a third party, nominated by the customer, to translate on their behalf. If, when evaluated, this pilot shows the anticipated improvements to customer experience, this approach will be adopted across the entire Contact Centre network.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps have been taken to improve the service of the child benefit public helpline to disabled people under the disability equality duty in the last 12 months; and what improvements are planned for the next 12 months; 
(2) what steps have been taken in the last 12 months to improve the service of the Tax Credits public helpline to disabled people under the disability equality duty; and what measures are proposed for the next 12 months. 
Mr. Timms: In the last year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have actively sought the engagement of both internal and external stakeholders to identify initiatives to improve the provision of services to customers with disabilities through the Department's Disabled Customer Contact Group (DCCG). As a result of this work HMRC Contact Centres, which administer both the Tax Credits and Child Benefits helplines, carried out a review of the Textphone service which is used to support customers who have a hearing or speech impairment. Following this review HMRC will be implementing a series of changes to improve the access to, and the reliability of, this service.
In addition, as part of its Disability Discrimination Act action plan for 2010, HMRC is looking to improve staff awareness of disability issues through enhanced training so that the Department better identifies and responds to the needs of disabled customers.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 11 June 2009, Official Report, column 983W, on welfare tax credits: telephone services, what the evidential basis is that some customers will pay more, others will pay less and for others there will be no change in relation to a charge from 0845 numbers to 0300. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs does not hold information on individual customers call charges as calls are charged to the customer based on the tariff arrangements they have with their service provider, the device they use for the call and the location from which they call.
However, reviews carried out of telephone service provider's tariff websites and Ofcom's own guide to telephone charges "Number Crunching" available at www.ofcom.org/files/numbering/2009/08/numbering.pdf. indicate that some customers will pay more, others will pay less and for others there will be no change in relation to a change from 0845 numbers to 0300.
|April to March each year||Number of seizures||Number of pieces/weight( 1)|
|(1) Some ivory seizures are recorded in weight and others by the number of pieces seized.|
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the statement of 9 December 2009, Official Report, column 368, on the pre-Budget report, how many of the 100,000 offshore accounts being investigated by HM Revenue and Customs are thought to be held by persons or institutions in (a) Yorkshire and the Humber and (b) City of York. 
The figure of 100,000 refers to the potential number of offshore account details HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will receive once all the relevant data from the banks is received. HMRC will be collating this information into a database and should be able to provide analysis based on this later this year.
Many of these account holders may already be making correct returns and paying the right amount of tax. Others may choose to take advantage of the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) and be in the process of disclosing unpaid liabilities voluntarily. HMRC will commence investigations once the NDO has closed on 12 March 2010.
The information requested is contained in the following table. This information has only been collected centrally since 2006-07 and figures for earlier years could be determined only at a disproportionate cost. While the number of cases prosecuted remained fairly even over the three years indicated, the number of individuals convicted rose in 2007-08 due to a number of long running complex prosecutions resulting in successful outcomes in that year. Many were multi-handed cases in which most or all defendants were convicted.
|Number of individuals convicted in England and Wales( l)|
|(1) Tax evasion has been defined as offences relating to VAT (non-complex and complex/MTIC), tax credits (non-complex and complex/organised) and direct tax (non-complex/Grabiner and complex).|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much and what percentage of total taxation revenue has accrued to the Treasury from taxation on (a) the financial sector and (b) the housing sector in each of the last 12 years. 
Stamp duty, capital gains tax and inheritance tax data are available at:
Pay As You Earn tax deducted from pay in the financial sector is available at:
This covers the period 1999-2000 to 2006-07.
Corporation tax data are available at:
covering the period 2000-01 to 2008-09.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers and officials meet with, and receive representations from, a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what field research and site visits to self-catering properties were conducted by HM Revenue and Customs prior to the publication of its technical note, Withdrawing the Furnished Holiday Lettings Rules from 2010-11, published on 9 December 2009. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 16 December 2009]: The technical note entitled "Withdrawing the Furnished Holiday Lettings Rules from 2010-11" was prepared on the basis of representations received and meetings held with interested parties together with other publicly available information. We welcome comments on the note.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many UK residents with qualifying furnished holiday lettings (FHLs) in the European Economic Area have submitted claims under the FHLs rules since the extension of the rules to such properties in April 2009; 
Estimates of the total cost of extending the furnished holiday letting rules to the European economic area until the end of 2009-10 were published in an impact assessment alongside the 2009 pre-Budget report available at:
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evidence must be provided by UK residents with qualifying furnished holiday lettings (FHLs) in the European Economic Area when they submit claims under the FHLs rules since the extension of the rules to such properties in April 2009. 
Mr. Timms: Under the self assessment rules, businesses are not required to submit evidence when they make a tax claim, however they are required to maintain records to support their claim. HM Revenue and Customs may ask to see these records if the claim is selected for a compliance check.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the proportion of revenue accruing to the Exchequer through indirect taxation from persons in the (a) bottom quintile and (b) top quintile of earners. 
Mr. Timms: Expenditure data are, conventionally, segmented by equivalised household income, rather than earner income. The proportions of indirect tax paid by the top and bottom quintile of all households ranked by equivalised disposable income can be calculated from the information provided in table 14A of "The effects of taxes and benefits on household income, 2006/07", available at
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|