THE GOVERNMENT should not rule out tax reforms that could help support disabled workers, say the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.
Measures such as tax deductible travel to work expenses are among the calls from the group, which says that some disabled people are unable to use public transport and need a specialist taxi service.
Some employers meet these costs and are tax-free. However, disabled workers cannot claim tax relief if they meet these costs personally.
LITRG Chair Anne Fairpo said: “We are disappointed that tax has largely been omitted from the Government’s disability work strategy.
“We think that more generous employment expenses relief and other changes to tax rules, could really help influence behaviour in this area.
“Encouraging disability employment will bring also more disabled people into contact with HMRC, and another of our concerns is that people who have additional needs may not be adequately catered for by HMRC.
“Having to interact with systems such as telephone voice recognition software and dealing with communications and information that may not be readily available in an accessible or understandable format may go some way to explaining why 26 per cent of the complaints the Adjudicator dealt with in the last year were from people who consider themselves disabled.
“Disabled people in work may well have issues or queries around self-employment or part time working, tax coding problems or P800 calculations, their National Insurance record or tax credits entitlement. They need to feel that when they contact HMRC they will be treated not only fairly but flexibly and with empathy and will be able to access a method of contact that suits their needs.
“At the moment, there are pockets of support for disabled people, but it does not appear to be well coordinated or consistent.
“More needs to be done so nobody is left feeling disenfranchised – or worse, non–compliant – as this will only serve to work against wider policy drives like getting more disabled people working.”
The LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.