Anderson concern over child benefit backpayments
Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has urged people to be wary of an e-mail and phone text circular encouraging people to apply for possible child benefit back payments.
"I have been made aware of a message currently being circulated in the city informing people that they could be entitled to anything up to £1048 if they were claiming child benefit between 1986 and 2003," Ms. Anderson said.
"The recipient is also instructed to log onto a website where they can download the relevant forms to make their claim which must be done before January 31st.
"However, the website also reveals that successful claimants will be charged £94 plus any interest for this 'service'.
"I have contacted the Inland Revenue and they informed me that there may well be people who are entitled to these backpayments, although it is not likely to be as common as the circular suggests.
"Anyone who does not have a tax code of H or T may qualify for these payments. You can find out what your tax code is and collect the required form by calling into your local tax office at Duncreggan Road and I would encourage anyone who feels they may qualify to do so.
"However, I would also stress that there is absolutely no need to use the website referred to in the circular as the relevant forms are freely available on the Inland Revenue website.
"Local benefits advisors can also provide assistance free of charge and I would encourage anyone to contact either my office or Dove House on 71 269327 and we will be more than happy to help you make your claim."