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Ali M-W

3558 Posts

Posted - 23/03/2009 :  09:16:04  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
If so, you could try this, hot off the press:

Stephen Timms MP
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
House of Commons

Dear Mr Timms,

Recently in the House of Commons you stated, “If there is an overpayment as a result of an official error, but the customer has met his or her responsibilities as I described, by checking the accuracy of the information on the award notice, the overpayment will be written off” (see You must be logged in to see this link.).

I am writing to ask you to intervene with HM Revenue and Customs to ensure that my own overpayment is written off in full, since it only arose because HMRC did not correct its own errors which I had previously pointed out. I have met my responsibilities, but HMRC has unfortunately not met its own. I refuse to be held accountable for someone else’s incompetence.

(Give details of your own case – where you had advised HMRC of errors you discovered from an award notice but HMRC had not acted promptly on this advice.)

In the same Tax Credit debate you offered the following invitation to Jo Swinson: “If the hon. Lady’s constituents have informed the tax credit office of errors on the award notice and if those errors have led to an overpayment, that overpayment is not recoverable. If she would like to draw my attention to any examples of that kind, that would be the outcome.” This statement implies that if a claimant has pointed out errors which have not been corrected which lead to an overpayment, that overpayment cannot be recovered, and if attempts have been made to recover moneys in such a situation, you wish to know so that you can ensure that the alleged overpayment is promptly written off. Please accept this letter as my own invitation to you to do just that on my own behalf. Since I am not your constituent, and in case your intention was solely to deal with referring MPs, as you can see, I have copied this letter to my own MP so that (s)he can formally request your intervention on my behalf if this should be what you require in order to act. I hope that the courtesy offered to Jo Swinson is similarly available to other MPs and their unfortunate Tax Credit Casualty constituents?

I look forward to hearing from you shortly that this sum is not to be recovered. Since you have promised elsewhere that “claimants can now expect disputed overpayments to be dealt with within four weeks”, I trust that you can confirm to me within a calendar month that I am finally debt-free?

Yours sincerely,

Cc to: your own MP.
and to Paula Dean, Tax Credit Casualties.

Please vote to bring our 'Justice is an Amnesty' campaign to the government’s attention, and ask all your friends to do the same!

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Ali M-W

3558 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2009 :  06:55:55  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
On a similar note, Sarah has told me something interesting from the "Tonight" Programme, saying "Dave Hartnett did...say on the programme that if anyone did think they had been treated unfairly by HMRC they could write to him and he would look into it". Check it out here: You must be logged in to see this link.

So if you feel you have been ill treated by HMRC... what are you waiting for?!!!

[font colour changed]

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.

Edited by - Ali M-W on 08/04/2009 06:57:08
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Ali M-W

3558 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2009 :  08:33:57  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
It has occurred to me that some of you might want to include a few Ministerial quotes in your letters to HMRC and your MPs, so here are a few juicy soundbytes from our dear elected policians to use in your letters - if what HMRC do doesn't match what they say they do:

Frank Field:

“I am currently campaigning for an independent appeals system so that families may have their say in the argument. I have also lobbied the Government to suspend all attempts to reclaim overpayments in tax credits until an independent appeal has taken place.”

"Every MP knows the horrors this chaotically-run benefit has brought to all too many families paid the wrong sum at the wrong time and sometimes in the wrong year."

“Tax credits are clearly the bluntest of anti-poverty weapons and are the equivalent of attempting delicate keyhole surgery with a hacksaw."

Lynne Jones:

“any system that is so complicated that people cannot understand it is not sustainable….When people receive benefits, they should understand what they are getting so that they can defend themselves against any attempts to cut them.”

I have written…to express my anger that outdated information is given on tax credit eligibility on the Government website You must be logged in to see this link. and to urge that this be remedied…some of their basic mechanisms of public communication are not up to date.

Gordon Brown:

“Up to £2 billion pounds will be transferred from fathers to mothers - providing them and their children with a secure and regular source of income”

Sarah McCarthy-Fry:

“I, too, have a case ongoing at the moment…where there is a catalogue of errors from start to finish.”

Labour stands for opportunity and fairness. I want every child …to have the same opportunity to succeed…We can’t have yet another generation growing up in poverty.

Tony Blair :

“For those families caused hardship or distress we apologise for that”

Jon Cruddas:

"It's time to wipe the slate clean on these so-called debts. Let's write them off - and make sure that the [Tax Credit] system really does do us credit".

Stephen Timms (Financial Secretary to the Treasury):

“There have been difficulties with tax credit administration and overpayment”

"If there is an overpayment as a result of an official error, but the customer has met his or her responsibilities as I described, by checking the accuracy of the information on the award notice, the overpayment will be written off."

“if…someone suffers a fall in income…the system can respond quite quickly”–

“HM Revenue and Customs is statutorily obliged to safeguard personal information and all staff have a responsibility for data security”

[of £130m in overpaid pension credit]“ social security law does not allow us to require repayment…. nobody will be forced to pay the money back"

If your income is £34,000 it is easy to spot a problem with a notice saying that it is £340. All people need do is to inform the tax credit office of that error and then there will not be a recoverable overpayment.

“claimants can now expect disputed overpayments to be dealt with within four weeks”

Dawn Primarolo (Ex-Paymaster General):

"Most claimants are honest"

“Where the issue of a court summons produces a defence claiming that the overpayment is in dispute proceedings are suspended until the claim is resolved.”

“A court summons is always the last resort".

Jane Kennedy (Ex-Financial Secretary to the Treasury):

“Where it seems that a customer's financial circumstances are unlikely to change, for example because they are on long-term benefit or are seriously ill, HMRC will remit the debt.”

“HMRC will take into account a customer's ability to pay to ensure that vulnerable customers do not experience financial hardship.”

“consultation with the ombudsman and other organizations…will improve the way in which customers of the tax credit system are dealt with when overpayments are made.”

“officials did not follow the correct procedure when reopening some of these cases”.

Alistair Darling:

“I think the level of error is too high, I want to see it reduced”

Dave Anderson:

…it behoves the Government, the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions [sic] to make sure that the tax credit system is sorted out and works “

David Blunkett:

“The tax credit system is a shambles - such a shambles that I've had to help out one of my constituents financially, only the second time that I ever have done this, and the first was for a child. I don't know if I will get the money back. I suppose it is a foolish thing to do, and it has to be on the pain of death that they don't tell people. But what else can you do when the tax credit system is such a total mess?”

Michael Jabez Foster :

“The average recipient relies entirely on official calculations, and it is nigh on impossible to know whether payments are right or wrong”

“To plunge deliberately such families into poverty is not just an administrative failing, but something of which we should be ashamed “

“I want the Government to deal with it now….There is no excuse or moral or legal reason it should not happen immediately”.


'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.' Animal Farm - George Orwell 1945

UK public bails out rich tax haven
…the government prepares to issue a tax amnesty to people holding offshore accounts. It is estimated that rich individuals and companies avoiding tax through secretive havens cost the exchequer in excess of £60bn. The announcement, to be made within the next four weeks, comes after Gordon Brown has been riled by accusations from campaigners that he is the 'tax dodger's chancellor'.

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Government Reject Claims Of £500 Million Tax credits Write-off
While the tax credits system has been under major pressure of late, the announcement that officials from HM Revenue and Customs have actually broken their own rules regarding the reclaiming of over paid tax credits has set more alarm bells ringing… What was in theory an excellent idea has turned into a nightmare for the government, and Gordon Brown in particular who introduced the system…

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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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