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  1. I was getting some phone calls/texts from an unknown number in November 2013, and then a letter from Credit Solutions Direct saying they were collecting a tax overpayment on HMRC's behalf from 2006. The amount £126. Just before Christmas (20th Dec) I had a letter from them saying they were going to court unless I paid the money within 2 weeks. Now, I have no idea what happened with Tax Credits - I claimed for about 3 years and it was always a mess. I got several letters saying I'd been underpaid/overpaid and found dealing with them a nightmare. At one point I was told there were two files for me so it looked like an admin error. I was also told I didn't owe them anything. Then got a demand for overpayment for about £300. I filled in an appeal form and have never heard anything since. I haven't claimed anything since 2006 even although I didn't qualify for it. Too much aggro for about £40 per month! My daughter is now 20. So I have no idea if I owe them or not. I looked on here for advice, and the advice seemed to be ignore it. My circumstances have changed significantly in that for the past three years I've been self employed, and hardly worked since October last year due to a medical issue. As a result funds were low (and at the time of the letter I had maxxed my overdraft). I've just had an invoice paid so could pay the £126 to get them off my back. (still getting calls and texts and possibly a court letter ) . What should I do? I really don't know if I owe this or not, I can't bear the thought of phoning HMRC again, and this seems a lot of harassment over a two month period after years of silence. P.S. As someone who campaigns vocally about tax avoidance, I do pay my full requirement of corporation and personal tax.
  2. I am on ESA and hope to start work sometime in the medium term. I was told there is Return to Work Credits and In Work Tax Credits but now I've seen that these are being stopped if on 1st October. It says "in readiness for Universal Credit". But the Universal Credit is only being started in October for new claimants. So what will happen to me if I go back to work after 1st October? I won't get Return to Work Credits or In Work Tax Credits because they've stopped. But I won't get any replacement help because I'm not a new claimant so won't get Universal Credit? Confused.
  3. Today I called the tax credits phone line to confirm our income figures for last year, as per the annual declaration form. The figures are within £500 of what HMRC based our tax credits on, so the payments can't be far off what we are entitled to. However, they told me that it is too late to renew the existing claim, and that we must start a new one going forward - fair enough, it's our fault for not returning the documents on time (although I am self employed, I don't know what my income is for the year until my accounts are made up, which I've only just managed to get done). We were paid tax credits from the 6th April to mid august in anticipation of us returning the declaration form, but we've had paperwork asking us to repay all of this due to the late submission. I thought that as soon as I gave them the figures they would accept that we had been paid the correct amounts for our income (more or less anyway), I expected to loose out from when the payments stopped in mid August to now, but today they are still demanding that we repay all of the £4000 they have paid us so far this year, even though we are entitled to it based on our income. I was told that we could either setup a payment plan or dispute it, and then the phone got cut off before I could discuss it any further! Are they correct that we have lost all our working+child+childcare tax credits for the period between April 2012 and now? Is there any point in us disputing it on the basis that a) we would have been entitled to it, b) I'm self employed to it is bound to take longer to get my income figures finalised? If we have 100% lost all the tax credit so far for this year, and have to pay back the £4000 that they've paid us so far (4.5 months worth), can they offset that against what we should get for the rest of the year - 6.5 months left (or 7.5 if we can backdate the new claim by 30 days from today)?
  4. Hello, I have recently signed off JSA (yeah!) and started a temp job (with company not agency) that will hopefully bring me to Christmas. The contract says that they can only guarantee me 20 hours a week but after the first week we have learnt we will be working 45 hours a week till Xmas (no alterations have been made on the contract though). 1) When I signed off, the Jobcentre officer said I'd have to wait 4 weeks of full time work till I can claim Tax Credits. Is this correct or can I start claiming now, as long as I have the expectation that it will stay like this for the near future? 2) Regardless of how much I could get, is it worth the pain to claim WTC for this short period? Last time I claimed I had all sorts of problems and this forum is also full of horror stories. What are your feelings and your advice about this? Thank you and a nice weekend.
  5. Hi Please bear with me I am new to this... Out of the blue last week I had a demand for repayment of overpaid Tax credit. I was told I had been previously contacted about it on how to repay but was being given a deadline to repay the sum in a lump before I was taken to court. I was bowled over by this so phoned them immediately. They said it referred to my change of circumstances dating back to November 2008 when my ex husband left the family home. I asked them on the phone when they had previously contacted me. They said they had written to me about it in September 2009 and appreciate it was a long time ago, however I had no recollection of this letter, They said on the phone they were now requesting 50% of the original sum. This is with no explanation as to why it was reduced and why it has taken them so long to chase this up. I need some advice please...
  6. n September 2009 I took up a post as a part time lecturer in London. I live in Norwich which is approximately 100 miles away. My post although part time (20 hours) would mean I would have to spend at least 2 - 3 nights in term time only in London. My ex husband agreed that in lieu of any child support (which he had not paid for many years and I have documented evidence of trying to pursue him through the CSA) he would look after my son (instead of me paying for a babysitter or asking a friend to have him while I was away). I was in receipt of Child Benefit, CHild Tax and Working Families Tax Credit based on my income of £15,000. pa I had mortgage as well as other debts and commitments including an IVA. There was no way I could afford to work without the benefits as I had to pay for my own travel to and from London. I accepted the job as it was a fantastic career opportunity in a very specialised field (dance) and, as I had been working on my Phd for 5 years this was an amazing opportunity and a career move rather than just a job. In the first term September/Oct 2009 January 2010 my workload was heavy and I was getting used to a new job and spending probably 4 nights per week in London and having my son at the weekends. At no time did my ex suggest that we split the WFTC to help him with any costs, and as I was paying for a roof over my son's head and food and other things I didn't see that there was any difficulty. My son was happy staying at his dads and it enabled me to settle into a demanding and sometimes stressful new job. At no time did I relinquish responsibility or ask my ex to take on full care ofmy child At no time did he suggest we split the WFTC/CT to help him out. in May 2010, at a time when, paradoxically my workload eased, I was marking essays at home and my son was spending perhaps one or two nights at his dads plus every other weekend (as we'd always agreed) that my benefits stopped without any notice and I was left with a monthly shortfall of some £600. This meant I was instantly cast into a very difficult position. Without the benefits I was entitled to, I could no longer afford to pay for travel, I got behind with my mortgage and the whole position of my already precarious finances got worse.. It was because my ex had decided to claim the benefits himself. He (and still has) had a long term partner, although they don't live together, she lives two houses away and effectively they share their lives (and I presume financial lives) At the time I was single and had no support from anyone else. Paradoxically when I was asking him for child support he claimed he was not working, when he realised he could claim WFTC, his workload increased. As of June 2010 I was more or less at home as the academic year had finished and I insisted that my son stay with me and see his father once or twice a week. However, as he was 12 nearly 13, this was quite difficult to enforce and he would often stay there more (against my wishes). Over the summer holiday period of July/Aug 2010 my son was staying with me as normal and seeing his dad maybe one or two nights a week and alternate weekends. At this time I was awarded back the Child Benefit that was suspended as my ex had also applied for it. By September 2010 I was in serious financial difficulties and having to borrow money from family to stay afloat. My mortgage was in arrears and I was finding it hard to go on. I became depressed and frustrated with trying to communicate unsuccessfully with HMRC, and my MP Simon Wright had also got involved. October and November 2010 were equally stressful as a new academic year began and I was no nearer to resolving the situation. I made sure I was not staying late at work and coming home as soon as I could and, as a result my work suffered. By November 2010 I knew I could not carry on and repossession orders were issued for my house as I was now 3 or four payments behind… By this time I was considering resigning my post as I could not afford to travel to work and I was depressed and stressed. December 2010 was when things came to a head and I did infact resign my post with great sadness and started claiming JSA. Since January 2011 I have not been working, instead I have worked on finishing my Phd and applying for other academic posts, none of which have been successful. it is now a year since I had my benefits stopped. My son has been depressed and now lives more or less with his dad because on JSA I can't afford to keep us going the way we used to. I've got to the appeal stage, but have been told by HMRC that they are still dealing with a back log of appeals since 2010! If I had known that this situation would have arisen, I would have taken great pains to find alternative care for my son, or perhaps moved to London. I relied on the benefits I received to enable me to work. Now I am not working and claiming more benefits I fail to see how this has been a fair or successful outcome for anyone, let my son. I resigned my post, which does not look great on my work record and further more, I feel very aggrieved that I was put in this position. I had worked very hard to get the job and I was very good at it. My son has been living with me and staying with his dad but HMRC insist that from May 2010 I no longer had responsibility for him Anyone else had a similar situation? any ideas if I will be successful in claiming anything back. This has ruined my life! thanks Abby
  7. I'm looking for information regarding repayment of benefits. My mother has been the primary carer of my nephew for the past 6 years, as he was placed with her through social services due to mental illness. This meant she was entitled to certain benefits; (child benefit, child tax credit, foster carers allowance and working family tax credits) or so she was told at the time. She has been receiving these payments no problem what so ever and recently was granted special guardianship. This meant that the case had recently been reviewed, and as a result, has now been informed that she was not entitled to most of these payments and will have to pay them back. She has always declared everything on her tax forms and has never been informed that she was not entitled to these, and when she questioned the various agencies involved as to why they didn't pick up on this before, has been told that "they never checked until now". I was wondering if there was any law or previous case to say that as she never defrauded them or misrepresented any information, that she should not be required to pay the money back. The money was claimed in good faith and went a long way in covering the cost of bringing up my nephew. On a rough calculation, it looks like it will be around £20,000 mark if she is made to repay the money! If anyone knows of a similar case or has any other information it would be REALLY appreciated, thanks.
  8. Hi, my partner and I have been taking care of a then 15 year old girl for 18 months. The council decided it was 'private fostering' which means that the parents agree and pay for the arrangement. There never was such an arrangement, since the girl had run away from home and her dad did not want anything to do with her anymore. We received some money from the council (£400) but they stopped the payments when they discovered we had claimed Child Tax Credits. Due to a mistake from our side, we were overpaid the Child Tax Credit and now have to pay back £2700! We would like to ask Social Services to pay this amount, since they stopped all payments when they heard that we were receiving this money. Does anyone have any experience with cases like this, are we in our right to claim it from the council? We have fought for a long time to get any sort of expense payment and never received it from them, although the child has now been placed in foster care which is costing Social Services £400 a week in foster payments to the 'official' foster parents. We have saved them over the 18 months 78weeks x £400 = £31200, so I believe that asking them for only £2700 is quite a good deal for them still! Or is anyone aware of lawyers who would be interested and willing to have a look into this?
  9. My ex wife walked out on my children and I in October 2009. As soon as this happened I called the HMRC to inform them and start a new claim as a lone parent. In April 2010 I was sent a letter stating that based on the earnings I had that the HMRC had underpaid the credits. It took a while to get back to them but when I did I informed them of my earnings for the tax year April 2009 to the end of that claim in October 2010. I was told that the underpayments would come to me and I had to confirm bank details. They said twice that they were going to pay into my account but no money materialised. I tried on at least 4 occasions to confirm my details each time being told there was a problem with the kind of account i had given them. Each time they also confirmed ALL the money would come to me. In between this my ex-wife told me she had also had a letter concerning the underpayment and had sought advice from the Citizens Advice who had advised her that the Child Tax Credit element was in her name and she was entitled to it. I told her I had been told the opposite and to not worry about it. I then did not recieve it and she "mentioned" she had had a letter and later that day I discovered she had also recieved GIRO cheques in her name for the CHILD TAX CREDIT element. She subsequently has spent the money on herself! I called the HMRC to be now told that because she was the main child carer at the time of the claim and because the bank details did not match her name. She was sent GIRO's for the CHILD TAX CREDIT. I am still awaiting any payment for the WORKING FAMILIES TAX CREDIT underpayment. Does anyone have any information on how I can get this resolved?
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