Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tax Credits

For reasons I won't get into I ended up reading the guidelines to filling in the tax credits application form. By and large everything was straightforward and any information that wasn't to hand was obtainable; however one simple question led to a plea for help - how many hours worked in a week.

It should be easy - hours per day multiplied by number of days. So work 3½ hours a week for 5 days and that's 17½ hours - except there's only two spaces available - whole hours only. So do you round up or down?

At this point the guide really helps - hah! The first example is working a whole set of hours per day multiplied by a number of days. The second example is better as it shows an average 14 hours in one week, 18 hours the next 14+18=32 32/2=16 hours. Gee thanks how about 15 hours one week and 16 the next?

In the end we rounded down, but I'd have expected at least some guidance for non-whole hour work especially given how some places of business operate on half-hourly systems.

Oh and as an aside the name and address were already filled in on the front page, but not the National Insurance number; seriously which of those two are people more likely to be able to fill in easily?