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7 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2009 :  16:35:35  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Major Fiasco

quote:
Originally posted by TCC Webmaster

Hiya, Major (great name!).


LMAO thanks..........well it was so apt!!

Umm in a nutshell - got an overpayment for 02-03 due to being told to put £0 in the income for previous year as I was a mature student and had a student loan. I didn't query as it made sense!

Years later they wanted to take me to court for recovery of overpayment because I had 'lied about my income'. So I joined here and went through the steps to get my data to prove I didn't do wrong.

Paper data came in jiffy bag that was ripped at the bottom (got a pic) but there wasn't any household notes for a tax year ending before 2006. So whether it was in there and had fallen out or if they never included it, I don't know!

They then sent the CD with ALL recorded calls - except the one where the woman told me to enter £0!! So I asked them to provide it, and they patronisingly told me;

"I have examined your case and can advise that we have already supplied all the data to which you are entitled under the act. This was issued to you on 3/2/08. I am sorry that I cannot provide a more positive repsonse. If you remain dissatisfied contact Information Commissioner blah blah."

So I sent a letter in Sep 08 to the ICO complaining about the lack of data and a copy of my phone bill from 2002 that clearly shows the TWO calls I made that day and the times and duration of them!

Still waiting to hear back!!!


RIGHT to update this long sorry tale - the ICO have finally got back to me after saying that one of my calls was to a mobile and only one call to HMRC appeared on my bill for that date!! I had to then write back to ICO and inform them of their mistake in reading my phone bill, and that they had read across instead of immediately under DOH!

Anyway, ICO have just apologised for their mistake, and said that as HMRC have said they have sent me ALL the data they have for me that means they have complied with the DPA.

So I assume it is legally confirmed now that HMRC have missing screenshots for many years, and a missing phone call (which is the incriminating one for HMRC) that should sit between 2 phone calls that they DO include on the CD!!!

I'm not sure what my next move should be with this, do I sit and wait for HMRC to come at me again and then react. OR be proactive and take it to them saying that they cannot prove that I owe them money and can I have a review as it could possibly be that they owe me money after getting everything so wrong??

Any suggestions are gratefully received

One life........wanna LIVE it!
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TCC Webmaster
Admin



Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
148 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2009 :  17:10:55  Show Profile Send TCC Webmaster a Private Message
Strangely enough, I've just written to the ICO again. After sitting on my case for almost a year, they suddenly decide that HMRC are telling them the truth about everything, and that my case was now closed. No, 'are you happy with that?', or anything.

So I've just sent them a letter, enclosing all of the proof needed to show that HMRC have blatantly lied to the ICO, and demanding that they re-open my case and actually address the issues that I've complained about.

If they do nothing, then it's my MP next. Why have an Information Commissioner that doesn't do anything constructive, doesn't have any teeth, and wouldn't use them if it did?

Seems like a ploy to keep the peasants quiet ....

Write again. Give 'em hell. If nothing else, it makes you feel better!!





The original 'point & click' interface was a Smith & Wesson !!
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Ali M-W
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3558 Posts

Posted - 14/07/2009 :  08:28:12  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Major Fiasco, HMRC has agreed in the past - and set a precedent for - accepting a lost phone call as evidence that they may not be right. They say they will take these lost items "into consideration". I would now be asking why the onus should be on me to find a Holy Grail which I have no hope of finding, rather than on HMRC to - in the absence of the proof I would have had if they had stored, acted on and retrieved my call properly - prove that things are not as I said they were. Why not now try - with the backing of your MP or even a newspaper (local or daily, either will do) - to put the responsibility back to HMRC to prove you were wrong rather than have to go chasing after evidence they hold and won't let you have for political reasons, or have completely lost?

There are also the 25 million lost Child Benefit records (those 2 CDs lost in November 2007) and millions of letters which HMRC has allegedly lost to strengthen your argument that HMRC is to blame.

You can also tackle the ICO again, but I would advocate getting your MP involved in this, too. You might just get some fuller answers.

Your MP can ask searching questions in the House, actually referring to your correspondence and lack of proper reply, and can ask Timms to re-examine your case (not a lot of people know this...)

Good luck! I think you have enough evidence to win now.

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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Ali M-W
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3558 Posts

Posted - 14/07/2009 :  08:29:55  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
...And if you get nowhere fast, remember we are trying to get Timms and Hartnett round the table, and your case could be one of the cases of glaring injustice that we show to the latter, who has already said he wants to know if HMRC is dealing unjustly with anyone....

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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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 14/07/2009 :  08:32:44  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
You might want to cite these articles, too, from the Sunday Times, as they expose how HMRC hides its own errors and how data requests should allow claimants to fight back:

Tax credits time bomb threatens to explode: The nation will face a bill for £2.8 billion, The Sunday Times, July 27, 2008 ON February 26 last year, a manila envelope crammed full of documents arrived at a house on the Isle of Wight. Inside was a dossier that amounted to a detailed indictment of the tax credit fiasco that will cost the country as much as £2.8 billion. The documents - and tapes of telephone conversations that arrived some weeks later - were obtained under data protection laws and detailed the tax credit claim of Simon Blackmore, 38. He was being pursued for £6,057 in tax credits. “Screen grabs” of Blackmore’s case provide a snapshop of a system on the brink of chaos. Software glitches caused a series of errors on Blackmore’s files, including the wrong income details and the removal of his six-year-old daughter from some of the assessments. Faced with Blackmore’s dossier, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) relented last Thursday and told him he would no longer be pursued for the alleged overpayments of 2003 and 2004. “Gordon Brown claims the tax credits system lifts children out of poverty,” said Blackmore. “Maybe it does, but only to plunge them and their families into debt two years later.” Across the country, similar packages to Blackmore’s are dropping on doormats as the victims of the tax credit overpayment debacle fight back against the thousands of pounds of debts they have been saddled with. After the debacle of the loss of personal data of 25m people last year, HMRC now faces a backlash over its pursuit of 1.5m families to whom it overpaid tax credits. Many of the documents show that errors previously blamed on the public were in fact the mistakes of tax credit officials and faulty computer software. The evidence means that significantly more of the billions of pounds in outstanding debt will have to be written off than previously thought. A former HMRC official, who has gone through some of the documents, claims many of the overpayments were triggered by “rogue” files that could not be erased from the system. The former official, who has asked not to be named, said: “We put duplicate files into the system because the software could not calculate the payments on original files that were inputted incorrectly. We were never able to erase those files and they have always been there in the background causing a lot of the errors.” When Gordon Brown, then chancellor, launched the tax credits system in September 2002, he promised the “biggest revolution to tax and benefits” since William Beveridge, the architect of the welfare state. About 6m families benefited, but the overpayments were far greater than anyone envisaged, creating a time bomb of debt for some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Each year about 2m families are given overpayments, which now total £8 billion. Ministers conceded that there were “initial IT problems” and EDS, the government contractor, agreed to pay £71.25m in compensation. But the vast bulk of the problems have been blamed on losses from fraud and claimants who were unfamiliar with the “rules and processes”. Those who have been overpaid credits have been zealously pursued by tax officials. Claimants were ordered to pay back the money and told in writing: “You have no right of appeal against our decision.” Those who tried to appeal complain of being rebuffed and threatened with court action. Faxes from an HMRC office that deals with disputes were headed “War Room”. Some of those being pursued by HMRC refused to pay back the money and an action group - Tax Credit Casualties - gave advice on how to obtain internal documents using data protection laws. Many of those documents have successfully been used to overturn HMRC’s decisions. Chris Parker, 51, who lives near Caernarfon, Gwynedd, obtained records of his telephone calls and “screen grabs”. He discovered that his wife’s income had been zeroed by the computer, which commonly occurred when any new data were entered on a case file. The mistake meant that Parker and his wife Sharon, 46, were paid extra tax credits, but he says he never received any official documentation showing the error. Parker has been told he that does not have to pay back the £3,656 he was claimed to owe.
Hayley Martin, 32, an accountant from Frimley, Surrey, and a mother of two, was pursued for £7,027 and threatened with court unless she paid up. Like many others, she was told she had “no right of appeal”. Martin’s files obtained under data protection laws reveal she always informed HMRC of any changes in circumstances, but her case files were not updated. “It is an absolutely diabolical system,” said Martin, who has recently taken out a loan to repay the debt. “It is about time the government admitted their mistakes and stopped ruining the lives of innocent victims like myself.” Under HMRC rules, even if many of the problems were caused by official error, claimants are obliged to pay the money back if it was considered that they ought reasonably to have spotted the mistake. The problem is that even if the errors did appear in documentation, they were often difficult to spot. Claimants who are unhappy with HMRC’s decision can have their case considered by Ann Abraham, the parliamentary ombudsman. She upheld or partly upheld 74% of the 120 cases she investigated last year and says HMRC has in many cases unfairly demanded the return of overpayments.
Paula Dean, of Tax Credit Casualties, said: “The rule is basically that officials can make as many errors as they want and you have to spot them.” A petition for amnesty on the Tax Credit Casualties web-site (You must be logged in to see this link.) provides a damning verdict on a system that Brown conceived as one of his greatest policies: “I have strived to be debt free all my life [and] it is abhorrent to me that I am to be put into debt by my own government.” The problems are continuing, with the National Audit Office qualifying HMRC’s accounts because of the money lost through overpayment of tax credits and fraud. HMRC insisted that the tax credit system was working effectively and official figures show 97% of claims were being processed correctly. It is unable to provide accurate figures on the proportion of overpayments caused by official error. You must be logged in to see this link.

Bullying tax officials lose £2.8 billion The Sunday Times Jon Ungoed-Thomas July 27, 2008 CONFIDENTIAL tapes and internal documents have exposed bullying and bungling in Gordon Brown’s flagship tax-credit scheme that will cost the taxpayer up to £2.8 billion. More than 1.5m people have been told that they were overpaid tax credits and should now give back the money. Tax officials told them it was their own fault and informed some victims they had no right of appeal. However, many victims have turned the tables on the tax-man, using evidence from their own case files, obtained under data protection laws, to prove officials’ errors were to blame. This has revealed government offices in disarray, random errors inserted by computer into claimants’ files, and officials misleading claimants about the right of appeal.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is now preparing to write off £2.8 billion, a similar sum to that which Alistair Darling, the chancellor, has already been forced to hand over to recompense taxpayers hit by the 10p tax row. The evidence uncovered by the tax-credit victims reveals: The computer routinely wiped out claimants’ salaries, thus triggering overpayments. One claimant landed with tax-credit debts was told: “The computer zeroed your wife’s salary. It’s a common fault.” Duplicate rogue files caused errors and sent out multiple awards. One claimant was sent 10 letters in one day – but was still assured there were no payment mistakes. He was subsequently threatened with court action over the overpayments. Victims were sent letters claiming they had “no right of appeal” when they were pursued for overpayments caused by official error. A woman with two children said she had taken out a £7,500 loan to repay the tax credits after receiving one of the letters.
Richard Bacon, a Conservative member of the Commons public accounts committee, said: “This is unbelievable. It shows no matter how many times claimants gave accurate information, officials still managed to screw it up.” The tax-credit system – at the heart of Brown’s programme to lift people out of poverty – was launched in April 2003. About £8 billion of tax credits have been overpaid to claimants to date, of which only £2.7 billion has been clawed back; £1 billion has already been written off and HMRC’s latest accounts show a provision to write off a further £1.8 billion if necessary.
Alison Myers-Ward, of Tax Credit Casualties, which has been helping victims with data protection requests, said: “Officials have been completely ruthless in pursuing people for this money and it has destroyed lives.” HMRC said its tax-credit system had been “working well” over the past two years. You must be logged in to see this link.

A £2.8 billion farce over tax credits: Taxpayers foot bill for Revenue’s ineptitude The Sunday Times July 27, 2008
When the political obituaries of Gordon Brown are written, the Kafkaesque system of tax credits that he introduced as chancellor will merit a chapter in itself. Today we report that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is preparing to write off £2.8 billion mistakenly overpaid in tax credits to more than 1.5m people. Worse, evidence obtained by some of those from whom HMRC is demanding repayment reveals a chaotic, error-strewn service, capable of enormous mistakes even when repeatedly provided with accurate information by claimants. A system supposed to help those on low incomes has turned into a nightmare. A department that specialises in retrospective taxation and harassing the law-abiding cannot keep its own affairs in order. Last year HMRC lost two discs containing bank details and National Insurance numbers of every family in Britain claiming child benefit – 25m individuals. Paul Gray, its chairman, resigned but with a big pay-off and a pension pot of more than £2m. These problems are not confined solely to HMRC. This government has done little to reform an inefficient public sector and in many cases has made it worse. That matters at any time but particularly now, when private firms are being squeezed and long-term prosperity requires that young talent is attracted to the wealth-creating sector. Any government must ensure that taxpayers’ money is put to good use. This time it failed spectacularly.


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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n/a
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7 Posts

Posted - 17/07/2009 :  13:29:46  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Thanks Webby and Ali, we did wonder if MP was the next way to go. I'm still fine if you want to use my case, but a word of warning I'm suffering with a head injury, chronic fatigue, stress and whiplash from a car accident last October, so I may not be good in an interview......however my OH knows this case inside out now so he can help with my memory probs!!

LOL and I was also one of the victims from that CD they lost!!!

One life........wanna LIVE it!

Edited by - n/a on 17/07/2009 13:30:49
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 18/07/2009 :  09:39:48  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Hi Major Fiasco - sorry to hear that your tax credit horror story isn't the only fiasco you are dealing with. I would certainly get your MP involved now. (S)he can lay into HMRC for putting you through all this unnecessarily, and I certainly wouldn't hold back from telling your MP exactly what impact this has had on yoiur stress levels and life generally, given your unfortunate car accident. Tax credits are meant to help us, not harm us! Good luck!

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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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 18/07/2009 :  14:33:02  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Aye, get yer MP involved & make sure the bugger works for his/her fiddled expenses claim!!

"The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible
reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed."

Adolf Hitler
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plsletitbeme
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



United Kingdom
22 Posts

Posted - 31/08/2009 :  23:42:03  Show Profile Send plsletitbeme a Private Message
HI THEIR MY CASE IS QUITE DIFFRENT TO MOST BUT IM HOPING THESE BITS HELP OUT...
I HAVE JUST RECIVED MORE PRINT OUTS OF MY CLAIM AND AMENDED CLAIMS ..
SINCE 2003 -2005.ORIGINALLY MY CLAIMS HAD THE WRONG ADDRESSES IE..I DIDNT LIVE AT THE ADDRESS ON CLAIM TILL 2005,THIS IS A COPY OF MY CLAIM 2003..TEY HAVE NOW PRODUCED THE CORRECT ONES WITH THE CORRECT INFO (WELL NEARLY ITS JUST THE DOB THEY ALTER...
ANY WAY EVEN MORE INTERESTING DO U KNOW WHAT EXCEL IS WELL I JUST FOUND OUT ITS A SPREAD SHHEET...AND THEY CAN ACTUALLY DELETE BITS AND ADD BITS AND PRINT OUT A COPY OF A STATEMENT WHICH IS AMENDED.WITH THE VIEW ITS ACTUALLY AGAINST THE LAW (BUT THEY SEEM TO THINK THEY ARE BEYOND THIS ...THEY PRODUCED ONE OF MY MINI STATEMENTS FROM THE CASH MACHINE ...AND THE BALANCE ON MY MINI STATEMENT SAYS 1 THING AND THE HMRC EXEL STATEMENT SAYS 5 THOUSAND POUNDS MORE ...SO HERES HOPING THIS WILL FINALLLY PROVE THESE HMRC STAFF ARE ACTUALLY WORSE THAN CRIMINALS ..AS THEY ARE ALTERING DOCUMENTS TO CONVICT SOME ONE WHO THEY NO IS INNOCENT .....I DONT MIND IF THEY SEE THIS NOW AS I HAVE PROOF THEY ARE DEFINITLY NOT PROFESSIONAL BUT FRAUDULANT ...I ASKED SOME ONE ABOUT THIS EXCEL AND WAS TOLD YES ITS POSSIBLE TO DO THIS BUT ITS ILLIGAL SO THEY WONT (LMAO LOL)....IM COMING TO FIGHT HMRC ALL THE WAY IM READY SO I HOPE U ARE TO HMRC ...I WILL BE BACK GUYS AND THANKYOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP WITHOUT U I COULD OF BEING GOING TO PRISON FOR 7 YEARS THIS IS HMRCS CAPABILITIES THANKYOU GUYSSS SEE U SOON XXXXX

me
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plsletitbeme
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



United Kingdom
22 Posts

Posted - 31/08/2009 :  23:48:06  Show Profile Send plsletitbeme a Private Message
ALSO SOME ONE HAD A 30 THOUSAND TAX CREDIT OVER PAYMENT IN THEIR BANK ECT ECT ...BUT HMRC DECIDED DUE TO DISABILITY THE AMOUNT OVER PAID SQUASHED AND NO PENALTIES AS THEY SUFFER ANXIATY LMAO(NOT DISABLED THEY JUST LIKE ME AND U ) SO COME ON GUYS WE ALL SUFFER WITH ANXIATY THROUGHT THE TROUBLE HMRC HAVE CAUSED US ...ITS OK AS IT CAN BE SQUASHED FOR ANXIATY ...ALI IF U WANT ME TO FAX A COPY OF THIS I GLADLY WILL AS NI DONT CARE ANY MORE THESE PEOPLE AT HMRC MUST BE STOPPED XXX

me
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dont give up
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



United Kingdom
9 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2009 :  18:25:45  Show Profile Send dont give up a Private Message
I have a case of TCO not accepting anything I say regarding the 'nilling' of an income figure and the subsequent phone calls when we received a cheque from them. We called several times to query the accuracy of their figures leading to us receiving the payment only to be told, "no, we are right the money is yours" they wouldn't go through any figures with us and had to take them at their word, after all aren't they supposed to be 'experts?' (isn't hindsight wonderful?!). Guess what. A while down the line they are now saying we (i.e. us) were wrong(?) and that we now owe them several thousand pounds, essentially the payments we queried the second that we opened the envelope. Guess what else. We have twice requested the release of data relating to the alleged overpayments and, after a letter of complaint each time (many thanks TCC) about their non-compliance with the 40-day time constraint, we get what seems apparently hurried preparation of partial release, and in the second case a repeat of info from the first request! It appears to me that the very specific information I have requested each time has been 'specifically' omitted from amongst the data that I have received. This I find very suspicious, as that specific data would be very incriminating to TCO (i.e. prove that they 'nilled' my income plus the fact that we queried the correctness of us receiving the payments), and at the same time would evidence my case and defence, I believe, to the point where if taken to court they would be thrown out.
I am at the cusp of writing to the ICO as a next step, but will wait until my MP has a clinic in the area as I have written to him twice now and the letters have not been responded to. So a face-to-face with Mr Phillip Hollobone MP (con) will be the order of the day, then I can ask him also why I should vote for him when he is failing to represent me as one of his consituents. Actually, I would probably go so far as to recommend taking the letters TO your MP at their clinics, so they actually get to see the human side of what TCO is doing, and they can't be so passive about the issue or blame the postal service or other part of the chain between us and them.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2009 :  19:02:32  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Hi dont give up and Welcome!!

I'm delighted to see that you appear to be almost as bloody minded and belligerent as myself (are you a Geordie by any chance?) when injustice is inflicted upon you!!

Thank you for naming MR PHILLIP HOLLOBONE MP (Con) and shaming him - they all should be named & shamed, however, after the expenses debacle, I'm not sure if they have any shame!

I'm very pleased that you're taking the trouble to go to meet him face to face. I believe that this is the best action for us all to take and give them a good grilling.

They are supposed to be working for us and we're perfectly within our rights to demand to know from them exactly what they've been doing for their money - fiddled or otherwise!!

It seems to me that most of these buggers are so bent they could be used to extract corks from bottles - mine managed to fiddle enough to buy himself a house!!

Get stuck in bonny lad give them Hell and don't give in!!

"The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions.

In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed."

Adolf Hitler
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