Suffolk kids get early tax demand

TOO young to drink, drive, vote, take exams or even go on to the big rides at theme parks, but already two Felixstowe youngsters have paid tax.

TOO young to drink, drive, vote, take exams or even go on to the big rides at theme parks, but already two Felixstowe youngsters have paid tax.

Six-year-old Chloe Caley and her brother Connor, aged three, had been busily saving up in their new bank account until they suddenly found it had been targeted by the tax man.

They had been taxed on the interest they received on their Young Savers accounts at the NatWest - much to the disbelief of their mum and dad Claire and Gary Caley.

“We couldn't believe it - there is no way they should be paying tax and you would think the tax office and bank would know that,” said Mrs Caley, of Stanley Cottages, Queens Walk, Walton, Felixstowe.

“They are children - and this is a Young Savers account. We are not talking about massive sums of money either because it was only about £60 interest they were being taxed on.

“I went in to complain to NatWest and they said they didn't have the expertise to deal with this - we should have known we had to fill in a form to exempt the children from tax!”

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Mrs Caley said officials at the bank had not told the family the children would have to pay tax unless their parents filled in certain documents on their behalf and were not willing to help to alter the situation.

“You assume as they are six and three they would not have to pay. The bank clerk told me, 'Oh, well, we all pay too much tax,'” she said.

The Inland Revenue though had been more than helpful.

“We contacted the tax office and they have been brilliant and said they would arrange immediately for the tax to be paid back,” she said.

NatWest spokesman David Edwards said as a gesture of goodwill the bank was calculating the amount of tax charged and would reimburse this to the youngsters' accounts - about £30 between them.

He apologised to the Caleys for the situation, which had arisen because an R85 tax exemption form had not been filled in. Bank officials did not fill in this form but the customer was usually informed about it.

“It is very much the customer's decision whether they fill it in because it is their personal tax liability. Because there may be funds in the child's name in the background in other accounts we cannot automatically say fill this in, although our advisors normally talk about tax status when people apply to open an account,” said Mr Edwards.

Have you had troubles with a bank account? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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