Published in December 1998, “Older people on low incomes – the case for a friendlier tax system” was the very first report of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), a committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, which is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation.
In the absence of any real action on the part of HM Revenue and Customs to address the problems highlighted therein, LITRG initiated Tax Help for Older People in April 2001 as a one year pilot project in Wolverhampton and in rural areas of the South West of England, chosen as representing very different areas but having in common a substantial population of older people on low incomes. The objective was to provide accessible tax help and advice for older, more vulnerable and unrepresented people on low or modest incomes. Funding for the pilot initially came from the CIOT and the Nuffield Foundation and it was established with the help of just a small number of volunteers.
The success and take up of the service led to the eventual establishment of Tax Volunteers as a charity in 2004 specifically to run Tax Help for Older People services. The charity retains its close links with LITRG, which in turn exists to give a voice to those who cannot afford to pay for tax advice and campaigns to achieve improvement and change within both Revenue and Government.
Our funding comes from a variety of sources; the CIOT itself through LITRG and the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), donations and grants from trusts & foundations, the corporate sector and central government. Such a varied funding network helps Tax Volunteers to remain completely independent and provide impartial advice and advocacy for those who really need it.