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Taxing mountain climb will help change lives

Author: Tina Riches

Published: 06 Dec 2021

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Tax charities TaxAid and TaxHelp for Older People give free life-changing assistance to people in crisis with tax problems. Tina Riches invites you to join a group of tax professionals next year on a climb of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, to raise sponsorship in a campaign to fund the two charities.

Neil is a lovely, gentle man. He has learning difficulties. He lived with his father until his father died and then Neil had to move out of the house. The death brought a lot of paperwork, made more difficult because Neil had to move house several times. Three years later, and finally settled in a new home, Neil received an unexpected tax demand for £3,200. His earnings were low, he couldn’t afford to pay for advice and became extremely worried.

Fortunately Neil was able to find TaxAid. Our volunteer who helped him discovered that the original underpayment had arisen when Neil had moved jobs and received duplicate allowances. The bill was £170 and the underpayment had been put into self assessment and had since accrued penalties. The volunteer completed the return and also found there was an overpayment for a later year. In the circumstances, the penalties were cancelled and Neil received a small repayment instead of a bill of £3,200. This made a huge difference to his life.

TaxAid and its sister charity TaxHelp for Older People together helped more than 17,000 people like Neil last year. Not all had learning difficulties: some had mental health issues, others were physically ill, or homeless, or bereaved, or worked for an abusive employer. All were on a low income and had a resulting tax problem, which terrified them because there was no one to help – before they found the tax charities.

I am a supporter of TaxAid and have seen first hand the difference the two charities can make. The people we advise have nowhere else to turn and are often in crisis when they come to us. The charities resolve the tax problem, leaving the client to pay the right amount of tax. The difference this makes is often life-changing.

The Mount Kilimanjaro challenge

TaxAid and TaxHelp for Older People need our support to be able to help people like Neil. An exciting way to do this is to join our sponsored challenge. Now that Tanzania is off the travel ‘Red List’ we have the opportunity to walk up Mount Kilimanjaro from 15-25 September 2022 (the dates may vary by a couple of days).

A group of dedicated tax professionals and friends have already signed up, but there are places left. The sponsorship money will go to the charities’ Bridge the Gap campaign, which is split equally between the two charities.

What’s involved?

This will be an 11-day trip to Tanzania, ascending the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, using the Lemosho route. Action Challenge, a reputable action travel organisation, is supporting us every step of the way.

We will need to be reasonably fit, but not Olympians. We have months to prepare ourselves, for example, by attempting some long walks and mountain trekking, including a night climb to the top of Snowdon. Fitness training and hill walking, together, will help us cope with walking in everything from tropical rainforest through potential altitude sickness-inducing heights to Arctic conditions.

Join us!

If you are interested and would like to find out more, contact me, Tina Riches: tina@richestax.co.uk.

To help people like Neil

Please donate now to the tax charities’ Bridge the Gap campaign at justgiving.com/taxaidvol