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HM Revenue and Customs is committed to keeping the customer costs of dealing with the Department as low as possible. It regularly reviews how
it can improve its services to achieve this objective. It has in recent months, for example, introduced a range of automated advisory messages on its tax credits and Child Benefit helplines which mean that many customers have their query answered at lower cost, since they no longer have to wait to speak to an advisor. The Department will be reviewing its numbering strategy early in the new year.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings Ministers and officials in his Department have had regarding the cost of calling HM Revenue and Customs helplines from mobile telephones; what the outcome of those meetings was; and whether he plans to hold any such meetings in the next six months. 
Mr. Timms: Departmental officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will shortly begin a review of its telephone numbering strategy including examining the feasibility of offering call backs to customers telephoning from mobile phones. HMRC will consult with interested parties and stakeholders as part of this review.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what investigations HM Revenue and Customs has carried out in the last 12 months into those companies which have relocated their headquarters overseas to minimise their tax burden; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs may investigate where there is doubt as to whether a purported relocation is genuine. No details are available centrally as to the number of cases of this type that have been investigated and such details could be collated only at disproportionate lost.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the Exchequer of tax avoidance through employee benefit trusts in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the merits of reducing taxes on landlords of empty premises to encourage more tenants to rent those premises; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Government believe that the reform of empty property relief in April 2008, in response to recommendations in the Lyons Inquiry and Barker Review of Land Use Planning, is the right decision for the long term.
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. Allen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people in Nottingham North constituency the amount of whose tax obligations has been reduced in 2009-10. 
Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available at parliamentary constituency level due to small survey sample sizes at this level of geography. In addition, the information available is based on 2006-07 survey data which would not be reliable for this purpose.
Available information on incomes by parliamentary constituency based on the latest available Survey of Personal Incomes (2006-07) can be found in Table 3.15 "Income and tax by Parliamentary Constituency" available at:
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne,
Central (Jim Cousins) on 10 November 2008, Official Report, column 938W. The yield for transfer pricing inquires on large business for 2007-08 and 2008-09 was £494 million and £1,564 million respectively. The yield from smaller businesses for the same periods was £25 million and £31 million respectively.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 30 June 2009, Official Report, column 210W, on the valuation office, for what reasons the minutes of the (a) electronic capture of hard copy records project board and (b) installation of a geographical information system project board are commercially sensitive. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what timetable has been set for the Valuation Office Agency to make a substantive response to the internal review of Freedom of Information request 11335561.1/CEO, submitted to the Valuation Office Agency in November 2007. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Valuation Office Agency's new geographic information system will be linked to its electronic document and records management database. 
Ian Pearson: The dates of the Valuation Office Agency's Geographical Information System Project Board were provided on 22 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1049-50W, to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman).
22 April 2009
16 June 2009
28 July 2009
10 September 2009
13 October 2009
17 November 2009
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what mechanism data from building commencement and building control notices are sent to the Valuation Office Agency by local authorities. 
Ian Pearson: Not all local authorities provide building control notices. Those that do provide building control commencement lists and/or building control completion notices in hardcopy or via e-mail.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 30 June 2009, Official Report, column 210W, on the Valuation Office Agency: pay, for what specific examples of commendable performance recognition vouchers have been awarded in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the timetable is for the awarding of HM Revenue and Customs with contract notice reference 2009/S 200-288191 on providing residential property data for the Valuation Office Agency; what estimate he has made of the monetary value of the contract to HM Revenue and Customs over its lifetime; and whether this contract replaces the existing contract held by Rightmove.co.uk. 
Ian Pearson: Any contract(s) awarded in accordance with this notice will replace the now expired Rightmove contract. The estimated value of the contract(s) is between £1 million and £2 million, as shown in the notice. Any contract is likely to be awarded in March 2010, and commence in June 2010.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 15 June 2009, Official Report, column 55W, on the Valuation Office Agency: training, from which division of the Valuation Office Agency the staff came who attended the training on (a) assertiveness by the Impact Factory, (b) staff inspection techniques by the National School of Government and (c) the greenhouse and reporting on health and safety risks in homes by Contract Property Training Limited; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each document provided to staff who attended each training course. 
(a) a member of staff from the London North Group.
(b) a member of the Finance Team.
(c) a member of the National Assets and Building Surveyors' Team.
The copyright for the training materials is owned by the organisations that provided the training therefore the Valuation Office Agency is unable to provide copies of the documents supplied to members of staff who attended these courses.
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs paid in refunds of value added tax to each local authority in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09; and for what reasons such refunds were made. 
Mr. Timms: Section 18 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 prevents HM Revenue and Customs from disclosing information relating to the tax affairs of individual taxpayers; this includes public bodies.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research has been undertaken into the number of tax credits claimants who do not renew their claim or subsequently reclaim and who would still be entitled to receive tax credits; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: If a family does not renew their tax credit award, by confirming or updating their circumstances, it is not possible to determine whether they are still entitled. Therefore reliable estimates of the number of claimants who would still be entitled to receive tax credits are not available.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many requests have been made to expedite individuals' tax credits claims (a) by (i) local authorities, (ii) voluntary agencies, (iii) Jobcentre Plus offices, (iv) hospitals, (v) hon. Members, (vi) local councillors and (vii) claimants and (b) in total in (A) 2005-06, (B) 2006-07, (C) 2007-08 and (D) 2008-09. 
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) average and (b) highest number of tax credits award notices sent to a unique claimant was in the course of (i) one year and (ii) one month in (A) 2005-06, (B) 2006-07, (C) 2007-08 and (D) 2008-09. 
An initial award notice, following a successful claim.
An amended award notice when a claimant notifies HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of a change of circumstances or income during a year.
A finalised award notice following the completion of the renewal process.
Where payments are continuing following a finalised award for one year, an award notice is issued to advise of the provisional payments HMRC will be making for the subsequent year.
Each adult involved in a tax credits claim received an average of between two and three award notices in each of the specified income tax years. This average is derived by dividing the total number of award notices issued each year by a snapshot of the number of adult claimants as in April 2006; April 2007; April 2008 and April 2009.
For information on the number of tax credits award notices issued in 2005-06 and 2006-07 I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 2 April 2008, Official Report, column 973W. A total of around 29.9 million award notices were issued in 2007-08 and around 33.2 million award notices were issued in 2008-09.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit applications are being processed for (a) UK nationals, (b) non-UK EEA nationals, (c) A8 EEA nationals, (d) A2 EEA nationals and (e) non-European nationals. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) use rapid data capture (RDC) techniques for scanning tax credits claims electronically and capturing the details supplied on the claim on the tax credits computer system. Further information about RDC is published on the HMRC website at:
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