Mark Willis

  • Appeal rights and tax credits

    Issue 262 (February 2018)

    We now know that in benefits an appeal right still exists even where the DWP refuses to carry out a mandatory reconsideration on grounds of lateness. But what about tax credits and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)? Mark Willis explains.

  • ‘Two-child limit’: the exceptions

    Issue 260 (October 2017)

    Following the introduction of the ‘two-child limit’ in April 2017 (as described in Bulletin 257), Mark Willis takes a closer look at the exceptions now that government guidance is available.

    NB: The 'interim period' during which transitional protection applies in universal credit to children born before 6 April 2017 has now been extended to 31 January 2019 following November 2018 Budget announcement.

  • The two-child limit

    Issue 257 (April 2017)

    From 6 April 2017, a two-child limit applies in child tax credit (CTC) and means-tested benefits. Mark Willis and Simon Osborne describe the rules.

  • Tax credits, appeals and ‘SLANs’

    Issue 256 (February 2017)

    Mark Willis reviews recent caselaw about attempted appeals against tax credit ‘notices’ referred to by HMRC as ‘Statements Like an Award Notice’ or SLANs.

  • Concentrix – lessons learned?

    Issue 255 (December 2016)

    An experiment with the privatisation of decision making in tax credits appears to be in tatters after HMRC ended its contract with Concentrix (the private company contracted to investigate the correctness of tax credit awards) early. But where does this leave advisers with cases opened by Concentrix, and does it mean we should expect any improvement in the quality of administration and decision making? Mark Willis investigates.

  • Early years and childcare services


    We are interested in working with early years services, childcare providers and information services to promote access to:

    • quality, affordable childcare through tax credits and universal credit
    • other financial help for families at risk of poverty.

    We are offering free resources including factsheets on financial help with childcare for low income families, a free advice line, and a short seminar for your group – see below for details.

  • Tax credits: new problems

    Issue 245 (April 2015)

    Although the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides for the abolition of tax credits, it is still possible for people who are not entitled to universal credit to make a new claim for tax credits for 2015/16 and the majority of claimants will see their awards renewed as normal. There are also some new developments in policy and legislation, described here by Mark Willis.

  • Tax-Free Childcare, universal credit and tax credits

    Issue 244 (February 2015)

    Mark Willis describes a new scheme due for introduction during 2015, aimed at assisting with childcare costs for some families, and its exclusive interaction with universal credit (UC) and tax credits. UPDATE: Tax-Free Childcare will not be introduced until 2017.

  • Mandatory reconsideration of HMRC decisions

    Issue 241 (August 2014)

    Mark Willis takes a look at the rules introducing mandatory reconsideration into appeal rights for tax credits, child benefit and guardian’s allowance.

  • Taking candy from a baby

    Issue 231 (December 2012)

    Mark Willis explains how the rules designed to restrict child benefit for ‘high earners’ are meant to work.