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Are your tax credits mysteriously disappearing from the finalised award?

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As some or most of you no doubt know, the tax credits payments that are paid through the year are only provisional. The actual entitlement is not finalised until the end of the year, which may or may not be the same as what was paid. This is what leads to under- or over-payments.


Something very odd and worrying has just happened to me, and if they're getting this wrong in this case, they might be getting it wrong for everyone.


I send in my final declaration on time and have just received the final entitlement notice. There was an unexplained overpayment of nearly £300.


Even though I know a bit about the rules, it took me an hour or so to work out why. My job had ended earlier in the year, and at the time they (corectly) paid the four-week run on. But in the final entitlement notice, the four weeks had been removed. This was very sneaky as it was not explained at all, and it seems unlikely that most people would ever have noticed.


I have appealed, but the moral is CHECK your final notices, and check they include ALL of your correct entitlement, and if not, APPEAL within 30 days at the latest, DON'T wait. You can take more detailed advice later. Otherwise you will be paying it back.


(And in any tax credits appeal against an entitlement decision, always state that it is a section 38 appeal, and not just a dispute over whether to recover the overpayment.)

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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