23 September 2016

Concentrix - An update for advisers

HMRC are aware that tax credit claimants have been experiencing difficulties dealing with their partners Concentrix, the private company they use to undertake some checks on tax credit cases. As a result, HMRC have taken a series of steps to try and reduce some of the delays. The latest information we have from HMRC is outlined below. 

1. As confirmed last week, HMRC have redeployed 150 of their staff to help Concentrix. These extra staff will work through outstanding Concentrix Mandatory Reconsideration requests. This will hopefully free up Concentrix staff to deal with the increased volume of calls. Anyone with questions about outstanding mandatory reconsideration requests made to Concentrix should now contact the main HMRC tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900.

2. Concentrix will not be opening any new investigations and their contract will not be renewed when it expires next May.

3. Many of the people contacting the Concentrix helpline are those who are still in payment and who have completed their renewal but have not heard anything from Concentrix or HMRC. HMRC have sent a letter to this group of people which should explain that their award is unchanged and that their award notices will follow. Anyone in this situation should contact the main HMRC tax credits line on 0345 300 3900 if they have any further questions.

4. The Concentrix main helpline will now carry automated messages directing those waiting for mandatory reconsideration decisions and those who have renewed but heard nothing since renewing to contact the main tax credits helpline.

5. If there are any very urgent cases, for example a claimant who is out of payment and suffering severe hardship due to action by Concentrix, advisers should contact the HMRC intermediaries helpline on 0345 300 3946 and explain the urgent nature of the case and ask for it to be escalated and dealt with by HMRC.

6. Any other remaining questions/issues relating to ongoing Concentrix investigations should be directed to Concentrix. Their claimant helpline number is 0345 600 3130 and the Concentrix intermediaries line is 0345 266 8998.

7. If the issue cannot be resolved, claimants should raise the matter with their MP to ask if they will escalate their case to HMRC. We understand HMRC have put arrangements in place to allow MP's to do this. 

8. HMRC have confirmed that where an element has been removed or reduced on a claim, if it is reinstated following a MR request then payments will be recalculated and spread out over the period to 5 April 2017. If a claim has been terminated completely and then put back into payment following a MR request, a lump sum amount for the period where payments were stopped should be made and then payments should be calculated going forward.

Request for information from advisers

The issues relating to the Concentrix contract remain far from resolved and we are still receiving many messages from claimants who cannot get through on the phone.

We are particularly keen to hear from advisers who have examples of the following cases:

1. Claimants who say they have responded to a request for information from Concentrix but have still had their payments terminated for not replying

2. Claimants who have renewed and who have then had their payments stopped and received a TC607 statement of account (rather than a proper TC602 decision notice).

If advisers are coming across any other issues relating to compliance checks, please contact us