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Tax Credit Overpayment Dispute - PLEASE HELP!!


satchel27
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Hi. I really hope someone can give me some assistance with this.

 

Basically I have received a letter stating that I need to repay an overpayment of £1,103 which occurred during the tax year 2007/08. I dispute this and have done so with the Tax Credits Office.

 

I have received a telephone response back from them advising me that, whilst they admit they have made a mistake, it was my fault for not noticing (from award notices) and therefore I still have to pay the amount back in full!!

 

To give you a brief outline of how it has occurred is: -

 

- My partner was given a custodial sentence on the 8 December 2006

- I telephoned Tax Credits on the same day and advised them of this. They said that my claim would remain a joint claim and that they would note on their system that my partner was in prison, thus entitling me to receive help with childcare costs as I worked 37 hours a week etc.

- I did thereafter receive the childcare element of WTC as a result of my telephone call.

- I telephoned them as soon as my partner was released from prison and was informed that from this date (23 Oct 2007) I would no longer be entitled to help with childcare costs. The award notice I subsequently received following this conversation showed this.

- I telephoned them again in January 2008 to inform them that my partner had now got a job and was informed that I would now qualify for help with childcare costs. I don't recall receiving an award notice for this.

 

I have made numerous telephone calls to the Tax Credits Office regarding this overpayment and during one of the telephone conversations (which I have a recorded copy of as I have done an SAR request) I was informed that it was clear why the overpayment had occurred in that their system no longer showed the period in the 2007/08 tax year that my partner was in prison (i.e. 06/04/07 to 23/10/08) and that it just showed my partner as not working! It was at this point that I filled in a dispute form to be told that yes they have made a mistake but I should have noticed!!

 

I have received copies of all relevant award notices (upon my request for them) and I can see their error in that childcare element of 201 days goes down to only 1 day. I don't recall ever receiving this award notice!

 

The overpayment was originally over £3,000 but they have already recouped some of this amount, thus why I only owe £1,103. Even though they admit their fault, they won't even meet me somewhere halfway and write off part of the debt! I find it unbelievable that their stance is that they can admit their fault but still pursue the full amount.

 

My question therefore is what do I do now????

 

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you seen this from their website? http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/things-go-wrong/complaints-appeals/appealing.htm

 

If you have an appeal in and it does not go in your favour then it has to go to a Tribunal to make a decision - clearly this has not happened so I assume they have treated your issue as a reconsideration or something.

 

Send another letter headed APPEAL and give all the info - it does not matter that you are outside the 30 days/13 months as you have been disputing this all along.

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