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Lump Sum Payments of Arrears of Incapacity Benefit: Is Income Tax Payable?

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Please help me; you could not make this one up.


My tax code was changed twice last year 2013/2014 without notification from HMRC. I meant to ring them but was busy having obtained a newjob and forgot about the matter. I was recently sorting out a difficulty with tax credits and looking at my wage slips I remembered that I had meant to ring HMRC about my tax code..


I rang HMRC on 09/05/14 to find out why my tax code was changed and an HMRC adviser told me I had two underpayments of tax. One of them in the 2011/2012 tax year and the other in the 2012/2013 tax year, because I received Jobseekers Allowance inthese years. I asked the adviser to send me the P800 calculations because I had not received them, or a coding notice at the time of the code change, and I had also not received any Jobseekers allowance because my wife was working and we claimed working tax credits. I found work in 2011/2012. The adviser sent copies of the P800’s to me.


I rang HMRC (30/05/14) having received the P800 copies and found out that the second underpayment was caused by an estimation of income. For this P800 calculation I have DWP correspondence proving I did not receive JSA. I told the adviser again that I had not received Jobseekers Allowance for 2011/2012 or 2012/2013 but had signed on as unemployed for a short time before starting a new job in 2012/2013. For the 2011/2012 calculation, however, the advisor told me they had P45 information from the DWP. I again told the adviser that I had not received any jobseekers allowance in either of the years and lost my rag slightly, cutting the call short before I said something I might regret. I never received my copy of that P45 information when I signed off either.


It was then I remembered that in 1996 I made a claim for incapacity benefit. I received income support for this claim because DWP said I had not paid enough National Insurance Contributions to receive IB, although I believed I had. This was because the 1996 claim linked with another producing a continuous period of interruption of employment. A DWP adviser at the time told me that linking rules had changed. Later I found out that was a lie.


Following the state's campaign of getting the sick back into work, in 2008 I had to register as unemployed, and in 04/ 2011 it was then that DWP realised that I had been entitled to Incapacity Benefit from 16/06/96 to 05/02/08 all along. Their letter to me said because of revised Inland Revenue records, so they paid the twelve years arrears as a lump sum less what I had received in income support for the period. DWP also paid me £100 in compensation for,”… such persistent error and over such a protracted period of time that it caused gross inconvenience in the pursuit of benefits, or pursuing a justified complaint about relevant matters…”. They apologised profusely and admitted that, “… dealings with the department, whether or not an error occurs, can often be frustrating and stressful.” No **** Sherlock!


The changes in my tax code to pay back the alleged underpayment can only be because of this, as I had no other income that year other than the job that I started in November 2011. When HMRC added the mystery Jobseekers Allowance (IB ?) to my taxable wages for 2011/2012 it took me over my personal allowances and the alleged underpayment occurred, which they started to recover without telling me in January 2013. I received about £1450 in IB arrears and compensation but the relevant P800 calculation says I received £1995 inJobseekers Allowance.


Can HMRC legally do this? I would never have paid tax on this benefit if it had been paid when it should have been because I never would have exceeded my allowances in any tax year from 15/06/96 to 05/02/08. DWP gave me £100 in compensation, for persistent and protracted error, and HMRC have taken nearly four times that from me, over what you could say is part of the same persistent error. I feel that the state has stolen from me. I earn just over the minimum wage and as far as I am concerned the IB payments represent income that should have been spread over twelve years. I could really do with the money back because I was assaulted just before Christmas, sustaining a nasty fracture with complications that I am still suffering from, and have been on SSP for 5months. Would someone please advise/help me? Although I have tried to do my own research I really do not know how to proceed. I am so angry, tired of trying not to get worn down and after having spent the last two weeks battling the working tax credits system my already medicated mental health is suffering again.


I rang HMRC again today (02/06/14) and they say they can do what has been done. I feel that it isnot my fault that there has been a mismatch of DWP and Revenue NI records. If HMRC are allowed to do this it is ratherunfair. If the correct benefit had been paid in the first place then the lump sum arrears payment would not have been necessary and therefore no tax bill would have been generated.


Many thanks for reading my post. I will be grateful forever and a day foranyone’s advice about my predicament with HMRC.

Edited by Sea Dog
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