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New Opportunities to Claim Benefits

Newsletter issue - November 2009.

If your income has dropped in the current tax year, perhaps because your business has made a loss, or your company can't afford to pay you a salary, you could be eligible to claim tax credits or other state benefits. The Tax Office is actively encouraging people to check whether they would be eligible to claim working or child tax credits, and has included an interactive questionnaire on its website to help you decide, see: www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/start/who-qualifies/overview/quick-questionnaire.htm

The questionnaire does not cover complex claims such as where a member of the family has a severe disability, but it will cover most situations. Remember a claim for tax credits is based on your family's total income, so you need details of your partner's or spouse's income as well as your own.

If you are aged 60 or over, you may be eligible to claim pension credit from the Department of Work and Pensions (not the Tax Office). You don't have to be retired to claim pension credit, just aged 60 or more. Like tax credits your claim is based on your income as a couple, not just your income alone. If you have savings of over £10,000 these are also taken into account. This savings threshold was £6,000 until 2 November 2009, which excluded a lot of people from qualifying for this benefit.

If you find you are eligible for pension credit or tax credits, you should check whether you could receive help to pay council tax or housing benefit. Claims for both of these benefits now ignore any income received by the family as child benefit.


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Dakins Property Services

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Choice Events Limited

All at Beauchamp Charles are very helpful, approachable and easy to talk to. They keep me informed with key dates; I can feel totally confident that I won't ever miss any deadlines! Whoever I deal with, always deal with matters professionally and efficiently and if they are unavailable they get back to me promptly.

FT leisure Ltd

I have worked with Beauchamp Charles as our management accountants for over 20 years and have never received anything less than exceptional service. Their approach is both professional and personal. Finances and particularly tax strategies are a minefield for small businesses; Beauchamp Charles have in-depth knowledge of these area, which is comforting. They pay very close attention to our business activities and have provided financial strategies that have helped our company develop.

Fredrick Thomas Electrical and Maintenance

We have used Beauchamp Charles since company formation back in 1998. Beauchamp Charles offers us a one to one service as they are small enough to offer this dedicated service and large enough to do the work and offer best advice. They get to know us as individuals and a business, always giving sound advice. Frederick Thomas Electrical are in a stronger place thanks to the service we get from them.

Barnes Walker Landscapes Limited

We are a small business and had employed the same accountancy firm for many years. Two years ago we took the decision to switch to Beauchamp Charles after several othe local businesses recommended them very highly to us. We have not been disappointed with the service they have provided to us over these last two years.