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Council tax error caused refund- now they want it back!


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I moved out of Cherwell District Council and they closed my account and sent me a refund. I queried this refund and was told it was correct and therefore it was issued to me. One month later after moving they sent me a bill for the refunded amount. I spoke with them and was told they made a mistake, and was told to write in. I wrote in detailing events and received a letter back now admitting there was a mistake and my bill was calculated incorrectly. Even though the refund was issued after me checking they say I must pay them and if I don't asap recovery action will be taken incuring costs! I have a disability and live on Incapacity benefit and DLA, I spent the refund moving house so I do not have it now. Can they legally ask for it back? Thanks

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I know for a fact that they cannot claim back a benefit if they make an "official mistake" so the same could apply to council tax, however being a tax makes it debatable. I guess there is nothing stopping you offering to pay it make at £5 a month due to financial hardship and you do not have send them an Income and Expenditure sheet as only a judge can request that.

Best cause of action is to ask a CAB office for advice as the council may have made an "official mistake".

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Thanks Surfer01, yes that's what I understood about benefits... but yes as it's a tax I think it may be different. It's so annoying as I thought I'd paid it all and then they do that... even when I checked they said no it's right we owe you! It's just causing me more financial problems now. Yes CAB next on list and I have taken it up with my MP. Thanks for your feedback.

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Although it is a benefit mistake really as they took my council tax benefit into consideration for the whole year which is what caused the problem. So maybe I can argue that... we'll see.

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