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WTC overpayment


29lithy
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Hi I am now a pensioner and not very good with computers .

 

My problem being

- late return of year ending WTC form.

 

I had a letter from HMRC that I had failed to return the form (which I had) .

I then contacted hmrc by phone and explained and apologised that at the time I should have filled in the form I had been in hospital where I was diagnosed with cancer , he was very polite and sympathetic and told me not to worry and ignore the letter as I had until January to complete and return it .

 

This is where I do get really confused

although he did say something with reference to the letter

and I cant remember what he said ,

one of the side effects of cancer is memory loss (not my words)

anyone professional within that area will confirm .

 

I then (again dates unknown) firstly receive from HMRC a letter stating an underpayment of around £153 , and a couple of days later another letter stating I owed the full payment that we had received for the 2016/17 year .

 

I contacted the "debt recovery" number on the letter and explained all the above ,

which the agent informed myself that there was nothing she could do but I would be sent an "appeals" form which I have received .

Could someone please advise regards roy.

 

Hi Just to clarify so as not to confuse ,

I retired at the end of the 2016/17 financial year = April.

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Hi Roy,

 

Write to them explaining that you were in hospital with Cancer and was therefore unable to fill in the relevant forms. Get a note explaining this from your consultant or GP and send them a copy. Explain that under the Tax Credits own code of practice COP 26 you would like the over payment cancelled.

 

For your own reference here is the extract from the COP 26 most relevant to you. I would say a cancer diagnosis is an exceptional circumstance.

 

If you need to discuss financial hardship with us, phone us to

explain this.

When you phone we may ask you about any family circumstances

that may lead to extra living costs. For example, if you’re looking

after someone who is chronically ill or disabled. In some exceptional

circumstances, we may cancel an overpayment altogether

 

Here is the link to COP 26 for your own reference

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/602141/COP26_12_16.pdf

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi and thanks ,

I contacted as said a few days a go and explained that I could not pay and explained the circumstances and if forced to do so would take the overpayment to the grave ,

 

the agent asked me did I have any other form of income apart from pensions

I told her no which is the case ,

she replied something like ,

 

"WELL YOU DONT HAVE ENOUGH INCOME TO REPAY ,

AND YOU WILL RECEIVE LETTERS IN THE FUTURE TO WHICH I SHOULD CONTACT AND REPLY MY CIRCUMSTANCES HAVEN'T CHANGED" ,

need this sorting

because I do not want to leave my wife of 47 years with any debt.

PS sorry abut the capitals.

Edited by honeybee13
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Not sure such debts in your name could transfer to your wife on your passing.

 

I should have added that any debts in your sole name will be part of your estate on death and if you left anything, debts would come out of your estate.

 

So anyone dealing with your affairs is likely to have to deal with this and you might wish to seek advice about what you can do legally to ensure your wifes interests are protected.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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Hi , with reference to the alleged "overpayment" , having spoken with someone as said from HMRC debt recovery department , who informed me that I could make an appeal or , leave things as they are because as now both me and my wife both being retired pensioners , our income is "to low" to make any re-payment , the only setback being that we would receive correspondence from them every so often , and should reply informing them that our circumstances "haven't changed. Can this be true ???? , should I go down this line or make an appeal ???.

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Not sure such debts in your name could transfer to your wife on your passing.

 

Working Tax credit claims are joint, therefore she would be liable for the debt (at very least, her half of it). Basically OP did not complete and return the renewal form, which is a legal requirement under section 17. If this is not completed all payments in the current tax year are an overpayment, because you failed in your legal obligation to complete the form.

 

So the first important question is when did you call the helpline? If it was within 60 days of the 1st Specified Date deadline, the agent should have taken your income details and sorted out the claim. If calling after the 60 days, you *may* have had "Good Cause" in which case it could have been sorted at the agent's discretion. Note: I say *may* have good cause because someone else could have completed the renewal on your behalf - your wife being the other claimant for example, but you could have argued the good cause case as you were both preoccupied and there was nobody else you could rely on to complete it for you.

 

What they probably said was if you provide your income figures before the end of January, we can treat it as "Good Cause" and fix the problem. If you never did that, it cannot be treated as Good Cause and the overpayment will stand.

 

So an appeal is pointless as the s17 decision cannot be appealed. To be honest I don't fancy your chances but the best course of action is to dispute the overpayment.

 

Now, to get around the 3 month timeframe for disputes, you must explain that this is due to “exceptional circumstances” which are your health issues, specifically memory problems, on the grounds that it should have been a “Good Cause case”, explicitly stating why neither of you could complete the renewal, why nobody else could AND why you took no action before January 2017 to rectify this. (Or if you did actually call within the 60 day period, that it is advisor failure, but still explain the good cause parts).

 

For reference: Good Cause Guidance - consider if the customer

 

  • could not complete the form or reply earlier due to exceptional circumstances.
  • could not make arrangements for someone else to handle their affairs.
  • was able to complete the form but was unable to post the form. You would then need to consider whether it would have been reasonable for the customer to ask a relative or friend to post the form on their behalf.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I have now replied to hmrc with ref to - "could not complete the form or reply earlier due to exceptional circumstances" as advised , with letters of support from both my GP , and the specialist who is treating my "C" , thanks for the advice AND concern , much appreciated , I will log on when I receive the reply .

regards

29.

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