£5m funding for organisations to help people with tax affairs

HMRC has secured £4.98m funding for 2021-2024, equating to £1.66m per year, to allocate to voluntary and community sector organisations to help them support taxpayers comply with tax obligations and claiming their entitlements

HMRC are looking for voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations to help customers to form or rebuild a relationship with HMRC that enables them to engage directly in the future.

They invite bids for funding of between £20,000 and £750,000, with a maximum threshold set at 50% of your organisation’s turnover (last audited accounts) and will only accept one bid per organisation.

Bids should include activities such as digital inclusion, advice and support, and specialist support and referrals.

The application must provide a breakdown of the costs of the proposal. It must show the full costs, including overheads, and it should only include costs directly incurred by the bid activity.

HMRC’s main objectives through this initiative are to maximise revenues due and bear down on avoidance and evasion, transform tax and payments for taxpayers, and design and deliver a professional, efficient and engaged workforce.

Who needs the help

HMRC wants the VCS to help the taxpayers who are currently find hardest to reach, who cannot or will not interact directly with the tax office, or need extra support in doing so.

Some vulnerable/marginalised groups may find it difficult to interact with HMRC for reasons that include geography, culture, language and trust.

The organisation must be able to demonstrate they can provide tax and benefit-related support services to a range of taxpayers, including those with disabilities, mental health or learning difficulties; those on low income or in debt and facing financial hardship.

Eligibility criteria

The organisation will need to confirm that it can satisfy all of the criteria to be eligible to apply for grant funding from HMRC.

The organisation must be one of:

  • a registered charity;
  • a voluntary and community sector organisation;
  • a social enterprise;
  • a mutual; and
  • a co-operative.

The organisation must have three years’ financial history in place and have a turnover of no less than £40,000 per year.

No directors in the organisation to have been disqualified in the last five years.

No director, trustee, treasurer or anyone in a position of financial responsibility to have had a relevant conviction, such as for fraud, within the last three years.

The organisation must have sound and comprehensive financial systems and processes that enable you to track the amount of funding spent throughout the year and demonstrate that it has allocated the funding to the specific activity detailed in the bid.

It must also be able to identify taxpayers who have HMRC-related issues and be competent to help them with one or more HMRC services, for example:

  • tax (PAYE and Self Assessment, VAT, National Insurance);
  • tax credits;
  • Child Benefit; and
  • debt management support.

It must have an infrastructure for monitoring and evaluating that is capable of reporting agreed outcomes, ie, the impact on clients, and that outcomes represent value for money.

No aspect of the activity funded by this grant may be party political in intention, use or presentation, neither can it be used to support or promote religious activity.

Any bids that progress through the evaluation process will be subject to verification of the eligibility criteria along with additional financial/operating information as part of HMRC’s due diligence process.

Timeline

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 27 November 2020, then the tax office will acknowledge receipt of the application within 24 hours.

From the week commencing 14 December 2020 there will be a notification sent to successful applicants, and from 1 April 2021 grant agreements will be in place and new funding begins.

Further reading:

HMRC grant funding 2021 to 2024 - application guidance

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