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 Tax Credit Overpayments
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 RE successful disputes
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PJD
Admin


United Kingdom
281 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2008 :  16:59:33  Show Profile Send PJD a Private Message
I have just spotted how thin this section can appear. It doesnít actually reflect the rate of successful disputes that we know of, so I thought Iíd try and add a little perspective in case the small size of this section was putting anyone off disputing.

Regular users will know Iím not on the forum very much, I do case advise by email and phone contact mainly, and tend to leave forum cases in the very competent hands of Ďthe gangí on here. Over the years I have noticed we seem to have very little crossover; people do seem to pick either one or the other; either case discussion by email etc, or case discussion here in the forum.

There are probably a million and one reasons behind that, but I think some of them might be that obviously not everyone is used to / interest in using forums. And then others prefer forums as more informal maybe and more instant.

To be honest I havenít been keeping records of the success rates myself for very long (am not a natural born secretary it has to be said), but I thought I would post here a bit of a taster on what I do have in the way of records of successful dispute cases.

I have been keeping a quick list of all the confirmations I have received for just over a year now. And allowing for those who havenít got round to letting me know of their successful case (which I suspect is quite high and due to just wanting to forget about it when itís over) and my fallible recording keeping, I have nearly 40 on my list. Please note this only the lasts 14 months and only the ones I know of and have been involved in and that have finally been concluded.

If I ever had the time I would love to be able to go back over my records of cases over the last 3 and half years and chase up the details, but my afore mentioned lack of secretarial skills and the fact that I didnít realise for a long time that how Ďbigí this was, mean the task would be herculean

But this record I have kept shows a huge variety in successful dispute case types / overpayment causes / overpaid amounts. From refunds of amounts recovered to wrong relationship status. From a couple of hundred to nearly half being between £5,000 and £10,000 plus.

My list can not be considered reflective of the actual number of successful cases, due to the high failure rate of contact from victims once they have won, the length of time taken to conclude a case, and that itĎs only over a short time period. Instead it examples very well how every case should be fought on its merits, and not regarded by snap judgements and external appearances.

If a victim feels that the resultant overpayment bill is not warranted due to their own actions, they should dispute. Whether itís about the fairness of what HMRC expected claimants to know and understand when claiming, or outright mistakes on HMRC's part, or the very fact repayment would cause hardship. Very often starting a dispute is the only time an explanation of the overpayment is even issued, HMRCís arrogance being such that they donít see fit to explain why they want you to suddenly repay thousands of pounds when first dropping the bombshell on you.

I think all this contact with politicians is rubbing off on me (argghhh) as I now seem to have catch phrases. 1 of which is ďwhen life gets bad, Tax Credits makes it worseĒ and the other I use in response to questions about whether itís worth disputing; ďyouíre certainly not going to win if you donít disputeĒ, and your not even going to receive a true explanation of how it happened unless you push a dispute either.

In short, what Iím trying to say is if you didnít know this bill was coming, if you donít think itís just to hold you responsible for it and / or if it would cause you difficulties to repay or have it recovered from your current award; DISPUTE!

(Iíve meet very few people who have finally received an explanation of the preposterous events and system design flaws that led to them being billed who have then said ďoh alright then, Iíll take this lying downĒ)


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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2008 :  21:05:29  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
Thank you for this information Paula - it's heartening to see how many successes you have had that you know about. Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of so many people.

If I ever win my dispute I will shout it to the world!

Auntie

"You can dress a pig in a suit but you can't stop it grunting"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2008 :  07:37:18  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
If you ever win, Auntie? Don't you mean when?

Trinity: The answer is out thereÖ and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2008 :  22:14:32  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
Well it's been dragging on for nearly three years now. Not much seems to be happening at the moment which suits me just fine!

"You can dress a pig in a suit but you can't stop it grunting"
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PJD
Admin



United Kingdom
281 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2009 :  13:57:40  Show Profile Send PJD a Private Message
just a little update on this. i did go back through some of my records, and totted up how many cases we had confirmed write off for and ......

1/4 of a million pounds worth of overpayment's written off. (in just that one period, and thats just the ones i have been told about)

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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 16/12/2009 :  07:37:40  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
I'm going to ask Paula for an update of how many confirmed overpayment write-offs she is now aware of amongst our members, as I am sure there are many which have not appeared on these "success" threads.

Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.
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patriciahirstpink
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



28 Posts

Posted - 28/12/2009 :  18:15:03  Show Profile Send patriciahirstpink a Private Message
i have recently received an amended tax credit award notice which includes "an adjustment to put the record right" it looks to me as if that means there is nothing to pay? can you throw any light on this? does this mean i have won? if so by my calculations they should owe me some money back. my case is with the adjudicator at the moment and i have had no answer from that yet. this amended award notice arrived out of the blue with no other letters with it.
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 13/01/2010 :  07:33:52  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
I'm just wondering, patriciahirstpink, if you've heard any more? When I got an ambiguous letter along those lines, I wrote back expressing my relief that HMRC had finally seen sense and written off the remaining "debt", to which I never had any answer, until a few months later they sent quiet confirmation of the fact that they were not going to recover anything. I would be cautiously optimistic, and make sure you keep a photocopy of that letter just in case the original goes missing and they come back at you with further demands (which happened to a friend).

You could take a copy of the letter and send it to your MP with a summary of your mistreatment at HMRC's hands and asking them two things: to contact HMRC confirming there is now no debt, and to support an Amnesty for others like you/us who have been overpaid through no fault of our own, in the run up to the election. It may be good to have an MP on your side, and if nothing else, should this come back to bite you in the future (let's sincerely hope not!), your MP will see the complete injustice of such an apparent U-turn and (hopefully) fight your corner.

Just a thought, though I am no expert.

Well done, anyway. As a simple sort, if it were me, I would see this as a victory. It sounds to me almost like an admission of "we don't know what caused this discrepancy, but let's make it all balance", a bit like sticking a penny in your till, usually a sign of "it's close enough - we are not bothering to do endless accounting just to see where the problem was".

At one time there was also a baseline sum which could be written off as unproductive to go chasing. No-one at HMRC would breathe a whisper of what this might be, but for some reason I have "£300" in my head. It might also be deemed too costly to go bullying you for, which if this is the case, shows an uncharacteristic reasonableness! Fancy the Treasury actually making a sound financial decision! Unheard of...

Of course, aside from the ethics of writing off non-fraudulent overpayments, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that writing off all the overpayments not caused by claimant fraud would actually be cheaper in the long term than harrassing us all. But only the Lib Dems to date seem to have grasped that one. We are working on it, pre-election, however.

Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.
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patriciahirstpink
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



28 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2010 :  18:40:05  Show Profile Send patriciahirstpink a Private Message
well i am still waiting for the result from the adjudicator because i think they may still owe me some back! but it has been 5 months now and have heard nothing. don,t know how long is usual to wait. however i am cautiously optimistic and think i may be getting somewhere but where not sure!!
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patriciahirstpink
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



28 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  08:13:04  Show Profile Send patriciahirstpink a Private Message
have now received an annual notice for year ending 2010. saying i still have to pay back £581.10
however this is still going back to my dispute which is with adjudicator. so have written back to say they can't pursue me for this until decision has been made. they have used my child tax credit from this year to set against this previous "overpayment" so by my calculations i should be getting that back. thank god my children are now too old for tax credits to be claimed! am looking forward to leaving the system altogether!
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PJD
Admin



United Kingdom
281 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  10:58:54  Show Profile Send PJD a Private Message
quick update while i'm in here. since i wrote my previous post i have received confirmation of (and remembered to record) another £50,000 worth of write offs. these include amounts from £1,000 to £13,000, and the disputes range in length of time taken from 6 months to 6 years.

remember this is actually not very reflective of our true success rate due to the factors i mention in my first post, but is only a sample indication.


keep fighting, don't let them win by simply grinding you in to the ground.

cheers
PJ
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