With thanks to Paula for forwarding info from her regular CPAG newsletter.
• Withdrawing claims
Claimants now have the power to withdraw tax credit claims at the annual review stage if they wish. The claimant can specify that the annual declaration is not to be treated as a renewal claim from 6 April in the new tax year. This may be useful to some higher income groups with nil awards who want to stop receiving paperwork, but anyone else who chooses to do this will be losing money to which they should be entitled. Claimants who have suffered due to overpayments or bad experiences with tax credits should not give up their entitlement just because of the poor administration of the system. An alternative is to provide an over-estimate of current year income and wait until the end of the tax year when actual income is known to receive any tax credits due.
• Revising decisions due to official error
A tax credits decision can be revised in favour of the claimant if it is incorrect due to an official error by the Revenue or DWP. The time limit for doing so has been extended to five years from the date of the decision, rather than five years from the end of the tax year to which the decision relates.
So not only can we now more easily escape from the tax credit system if our experiences have been so bad that we don't want to risk experiencing further problems (something we have vigorously complained about); but we now have longer to decide that we weren't, after all, happy to sign up to an endless repayment plan lasting eight years or more (as some of our members have felt forced to), as we were never empowered by HMRC to raise or continue with our disputes. As I've tried to spread the word about before, it only needs us to suspect that HMRC made mistakes in order to RETROSPECTIVELY launch a dispute. Too many people were duped by HMRC's ominous but false statement that "you cannot appeal" against their recovering money. You can: it is just called a DISPUTE rather than an APPEAL (which is something quite different in the eyes of HMRC).
So if you are not happy being locked forever into the Russian Roulette tax credit "system" and would rather make do with a little less money (if you can afford to have this choice), you can now ESCAPE.
And if you are locked into repayments you would never have agreed to in hindsight, having come across this website and wishing you could turn the clock back and dispute recovery - well, from your crippling repayments, you can also ESCAPE.
Unhappy with the government who forced you from this position? Well, on May 6th, we no longer have to answer to our oppressors.
Please use your vote and identify which MP or Candidate you feel has the greatest commitment to righting tax credit wrongs, and help us all escape.
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.