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7yr old surprise Tax Credit debt threat


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Hi,

 

hope someone can advise on the best course of action, because so far, we have got nowhere with the HMRC telephone numbers, having been doing laps round departments as one refers back to the previous....but no one can help, except to take payment obviously.

 

The situation

My other half of 3 years, received a letter from the HMRC dated 22nd April 2014, stating that she had an outstanding debt of £750.23.

According to the very brief detail on the back this was due to an overpayment of Working Tax Credit & Child Tax Credit dating from May 2007.

 

This is the absolute FIRST she has heard about it.

 

Her other half from then has also received a letter. They have been in contact and he knows nothing of it either. He has also heard nothing from them prevously.

 

The letter she has received is quite threatening, quoting the usual 'contact us and make payment in full or we'll refer you to a DCA' etc. I'll see if I can upload it after I've written this post.

 

**********************

 

My inital research, consisting mainly of browsing the HMRC webbie and looking at some of the webpages that the auto-announcements make on the HMRC telephone number eg WTC8, make me concerned that there is no way of challenging this.

 

This, got me particularly worried:

You can only dispute recovery of an overpayment that happened in the tax

year the notice or letter relates to. You will not normally be able to dispute

overpayments from earlier tax years.

 

Quite how we're supposed to dispute a debt from 2007, IN 2007 when we were only informed about it in 2014 is beyond me !!

 

So far we have called the initial number of 0300 200 3881, and spoke to a human. All she could do was take payment...but did restate the DCA threat.

 

She referred us to 0345 300 3900 when we requested a breakdown and some justification.

This is all automatic menus, and refer to the leaflet WTC8 for an explanation..

.and the leaflet refers back to the telephone number if you want to challenge.

 

The last announcement also refers to 0845 302 1429, that was also unhelpful and not staffed by humans. No possibility for any further information - just a payment service.

 

So I gues all we can do is write a letter. Old school.

 

*******************

 

Any advice, or templates about...?

 

Can I send the usual DCA warning letter withdrawing any rights to enter my property...?

 

We DO NOT acknowedge this debt, and this is the first contact about it, so is it covered by the 6 year rule...?

 

Thanks for your help in advance.

 

Rich

 

I've posted in the HMRC section, but thought I would post here too to see whether the same Statute Barred rule applies.

 

Full thread in Work,social & community/Benefits & HMRC / HMRC

 

Summary

£750 debt letter popped on the doorstep last week, relating to alleged Child/Working tax credit overpayment from MAY 2007. This is the first time my other half has been contacted about it, and the first time she has been made aware that there was a debt. Obviously she disputes it is owing, but the HMRC are being decidedly unhelpful.

 

Is it technically Statute Barred...?

 

You guys have been so helpful in the past (about Motormile & others) I just wondered if you had any other advice...?

 

Rich

 

Addition.

 

My other half ALREADY has small deductions for an overpayment from last year via her tax credits...implying that HMRC is on top of her benefit situation. Quite why this debt has now popped out from 2007 implies a significant change in something. I just wish HMRC would talk to us about it.

 

 

:-)

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Government are recoverable however old they are.

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I want to start by saying that in no way am I saying that you or your partner are lying however, in my experience of tax years (going on 8 years or so) I have never seen a case where someone hasn't had a letter about an overpayment until 7 years later.

 

The general process is that you get an awards notice which would detail any overpayment on that claim. If you have an ongoing claim then overpayments would be recovered from your ongoing award. At the point your partner and her ex separated, final awards notices would have been sent confirming the award amount including any overpayment. A notice to pay letter would then be sent followed by reminders (although I do not know how often these reminders are sent).

 

I have spoken to many people who haven't received a letter that was sent or said they forgot or thought it was wrong so ignored it, they thought their ex dealt with if, they went on holiday, their dog ate it - you name it I've heard it.

 

An overpayment can happen for a variety of reasons. The only helpline that can advice the reason is the 0345 300 3900 number. From your post I can't work out if you only used the automated service or you actually spoke to someone. Payment helplines as simply for that, arranging payments.

 

Your partner can make a subject access request for details of every detail of her claim including letters sent, telephone calls etc.

 

I would also note that the overpayment will be split 50:50 between your partner and the expartner she was with at the time.

 

Tax credit debts can be recovered no matter how old they are. The only thing they cannot do is take your partner or her ex to court. They can however take the overpayment back from future tax credits and via tax codes.

 

I would like to finally add that although I can understand your frustration with it all, referring to staff as "not human" isn't going to help anyone. Especially given that someone people on these forums will be these "non human" staff who would like to help.

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Government are recoverable however old they are.

 

Cheers Brigadier. I suspected as much unfortunately. :-(

 

I want to start by saying that in no way am I saying that you or your partner are lying however, in my experience of tax years (going on 8 years or so) I have never seen a case where someone hasn't had a letter about an overpayment until 7 years later.

This was my first thought, and if it had been from 2 or 3 years past I would just be telling her to pay it without question.

 

However, due to the following, we are not inclined to pay it without more justification:

1. she has had every kind of error on her tax statements that you can possibly think of, therefore HMRC have a significant track record of information correction with her;

2. she already is having an overpayment recovered, therefore why should one from 7 yrs ago suddenly 'reappear';

3. her partner from back then has just received the same demand and also knows nothing about it;

4. nothing has changed recently to prompt a recalculation going back that far.

 

 

 

The general process is that you get an awards notice which would detail any overpayment on that claim. If you have an ongoing claim then overpayments would be recovered from your ongoing award. At the point your partner and her ex separated, final awards notices would have been sent confirming the award amount including any overpayment. A notice to pay letter would then be sent followed by reminders (although I do not know how often these reminders are sent).

I have spoken to many people who haven't received a letter that was sent or said they forgot or thought it was wrong so ignored it, they thought their ex dealt with if, they went on holiday, their dog ate it - you name it I've heard it.

Ta, good background info.

 

 

 

An overpayment can happen for a variety of reasons. The only helpline that can

advice the reason is the 0345 300 3900 number. From your post I can't work out

if you only used the automated service or you actually spoke to someone. Payment

helplines as simply for that, arranging payments.

We initially spoke with someone on the payment line, as this was the contact number on the threatening letter...but as you say, all they could do was take payment. She gave us the 0345 300 3900 number as put us through (which was nice). This was automated, and gave us no option to speak with someone. We ended up repeatedly being refered to leaflet WTC8, and to another helpline that was equally automated. We tried this twice, on speaker, with me listenting. I am good at helplines and in the telecoms industry - tolerant and persistent - even I gave up frustrated. My interactions with HMRC about my personal tax have always been positive.

 

 

 

Your partner can make a subject access request for details of every detail of

her claim including letters sent, telephone calls etc.

Could you point me in the right direction to do this please, as all I have seen so far is an option to send a letter to a Preston address in WTC8.

 

 

 

I would like to finally add that although I can understand your frustration with

it all, referring to staff as "not human" isn't going to help anyone. Especially

given that someone people on these forums will be these "non human" staff who

would like to help.

"Non-human" in this case refers to an automated announcement, or interactive servce, where there is 0% interaction with a human being. No staff were harmed during the writing of this post :wink:

 

Cheers all

 

Rich

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Debts owed to HMRC will not go away, unfortunately these operate in differently from consumer credit debt in that the alleged debtor has to prove that the debt is not owed.

 

 

To appeal this one must have all the data possible to submit, the process is long and often complicated.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

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Cheers for the links.

 

Assuming this is a correct overpayment calculation, and a notification was sent out at the time all good and proper, any ideas why something this substantial would suddently pop out of the woodwork like this after this many years...? (bearing in mind there is already an active overpayment being recovered via her benefits)

 

Just been throught the cycle of HMRC numbers again, starting with 0345 300 3900 which requires you to state what you are calling about.

 

Stating "benefit overpayment" refers you to an automated announcement, mentioning leaflet WTC8 and referring you to a " Tax Credit Payment Helpline" if you require to discuss or dispute, - 0845 302 1429.

 

0845 302 1429 is automated. Hitting option 3 to 'discuss or dispute' informs you that you can't do that from this number, and refers you back to 0345 300 3900.

 

Most unhelpful.

 

Complaint in the offing I think regardless.

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The reason these debts and DWP debts are cropping up after many years is because the Government has instructed the departments to recover the many millions of pounds of benefit over payments unpaid loans, and tax however old the debt may be, the departments now uses commercial sector partners i.e.debt collection agencies to collect the debt and to use a far more rigorous approach to collection.

 

 

The departments can apply directly to the courts for attachment of earnings order, and can make deductions from current and future benefits.

 

 

The amendments to the Welfare Reform Act that came in 2012 made it significantly easier for the debts to be pursued.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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