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n/a
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41 Posts

Posted - 13/12/2007 :  18:35:25  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message

Hi,we have just received a letter asking for an overpayment of working tax credit,of 786 pounds in year ending April 04.With a threat to take us to court if we don't pay it by 20th December.
I was wondering what we should do now as we don't want to pay it.
Any advice appreciated.
Regards Paul.

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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 13/12/2007 :  19:48:36  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
Hi Paul

This is another example of HMRC's sadistic way of wishing unsuspecting members of the public a Merry Christmas I'm afraid. The first thing to do, assuming you have no idea where the overpayment comes from and you've not heard about it before, is to dispute the recoevery. This will stop any court action. Phone the TC Helpline and request a dispute form. Also put your request in writing and send it to the Tax Credits Office by recorded delivery.

Then follow the First Things First Link on the main website, thre is a link to this on the main forum age.

Others will be along to offer more advice when they've had their tea - most of us can only afford bread and dripping these days but we've made some good friends here!

Good luck

Auntie
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 13/12/2007 :  19:55:04  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Hello Enigma.

First of all why do you not want to pay it?

If the overpayment is because you provided the Tax Office with the correct information at the correct time and they made a mistake with their arithmetic and you were unaware of this, then that's fine. We can advise you.

The first thing you need to do is to let them know that you're in dispute and to contact your MP who can get things put on hold until you can get your paperwork sorted out.

Go to our main site You must be logged in to see this link.

see the buttons down the left side of the page & click the 8th one down & sign our petition.

Then click on the 5th button down "Stopping Court Cases" & follow the instructions.

Then click on the 6th button down "How to Dispute" and get your dispute started.

Then click on the 7th button down "How to Campaign" and help us get some publicity!

Keep dropping in here to let us know what's happening & ask for more advice.

You'll be getting more anyway from the rest of the gang shortly.



Noo mind ye gan canny.

We divvent want ye cowpin yer creels!!
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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 13/12/2007 :  21:15:15  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message

Hi Aunty and Alan,thanks for your quick response.Yes I do know what it is for,as I've received many requests for payment in the past.I can't remember if it was my fault or theirs that I was overpaid.

I didn't want to pay it back because it's such a longtime ago it happened,and any attempt to get it back has been feeble up to now.I assumed it had happened to so many people at the same time as me that the revenue had indeed wrote it off.

The last request I had from them was 6 months ago,when they asked for it.I suggested they took it from my current wtc each week.They replied,they couldn't do that and if I wasn't going to pay,they pass it on to their debt collecting dept.

Maybe I should ring them up to find out if it is their fault or mine?I tried to get through today but all I got was a message to press 5 and wait for them to reply.They never did.

I'm thinking maybe I've not got a case and should just offer to pay the money in installments?
I think the picture is clearer to anyone reading it now and look forward to any comments.
Thanks for your informative replies,so far.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 13/12/2007 :  22:14:49  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Hi Enigma

You're welcome to my informative reply. I hope you were kind enough to sign our petition.

Noo mind ye gan canny.

We divvent want ye cowpin yer creels!!
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Resurgam
Admin



United Kingdom
144 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  01:30:56  Show Profile Send Resurgam a Private Message
Hi Paul.

If they can't take it from your current WTC claim, can I assume that you are with a new partner, or somehow started a new tax credits claim at some time in the past.

The more information you can post on this forum, the more people will be able to help you. If you can give us a "timeline" of how things have happened, that would be great.

Cheers.
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  07:14:03  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ENIGMA


Hi Aunty and Alan,thanks for your quick response.Yes I do know what it is for,as I've received many requests for payment in the past.I can't remember if it was my fault or theirs that I was overpaid.

I didn't want to pay it back because it's such a longtime ago it happened,and any attempt to get it back has been feeble up to now.I assumed it had happened to so many people at the same time as me that the revenue had indeed wrote it off.

The last request I had from them was 6 months ago,when they asked for it.I suggested they took it from my current wtc each week.They replied,they couldn't do that and if I wasn't going to pay,they pass it on to their debt collecting dept.

Maybe I should ring them up to find out if it is their fault or mine?I tried to get through today but all I got was a message to press 5 and wait for them to reply.They never did.

I'm thinking maybe I've not got a case and should just offer to pay the money in installments?
I think the picture is clearer to anyone reading it now and look forward to any comments.
Thanks for your informative replies,so far.




I think it's quite right that you should know why you are being asked to repay this and how the problem occurred before you enter into any agreement to repay it, because if you can't imagine why you are to blame and have no recollection of withholding information, giving wrong information or neglecting to do something essential, then chances are, it was not your fault. To have any overpayment written off, you have to overcome a number of hurdles. Firstly, it must be HMRC's fault, although we are seeing an official error rate of way above that 5% that HMRC are currently claiming it is. Secondly, if you believed at the time that your award was right, you will have to prove that the belief you had was reasonable. What HMRC consider 'reasonable' exceeds what you or I might. If they have made any error on an award notice, eg. got your salary wrong or added a child, usually they have you by the short and curlies, but don't despair, as we are challenging the fact that we are expected to spot every last one of their usually multiple errors. An organisation which can 'lose' the personal details of 25 million people, overpay well over 6 billion in 3 years to over 6 million people despite their compliance, mislay vital laptops, lose a million items of post, etc., etc., is clearly not up to purpose. Do look at our website and see then if you want to dispute. If so, we are here to help you. If not, you can still support us, tell your friends, and write to the Chancellor, etc., if you consider the system flawed.

Machine god: WHAT IF YOU FAIL?
Neo: I won't

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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  12:59:30  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
hi Resurgam,I'm still with the same partner but it is a new claim as I haven't work for a few years.
Ali,I rang the ctc support line to inform them my wife's wages have gone up. It wasn't easy as the woman was behaving like a computer,and I told her so.After getting that sorted out I asked why was I overpaid back in 04.she explained it was because the payments I received was based on the figures I gave but when I gave the final figures at the end of the year,there was an overpayment,due.I asked her so it was my fault ,she replied"yes".
I asked her why I couldn't have the money debited from our current wtc,she replied I can't because of legalization.Which didn't answer my question but resugam has now answered.
I phoned the recovery dept to discuss a payment plan and found the girl very pleasant and helpful.

I think this must happen regularly,as most peoples income isn't consistent due to overtime etc.
I find these days talking to civil servants(if thats the right word,as I don't find the majority of them civil)very impersonal,combined with a lack of communication,can cause resentment,frustration and feelings of hopelessness.

Once again thanks to everyone who has helped with my problem and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
.

Edited by - n/a on 14/12/2007 13:04:18
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  14:06:27  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ENIGMA

hi Resurgam,I'm still with the same partner but it is a new claim as I haven't work for a few years.
Ali,I rang the ctc support line to inform them my wife's wages have gone up. It wasn't easy as the woman was behaving like a computer,and I told her so.After getting that sorted out I asked why was I overpaid back in 04.she explained it was because the payments I received was based on the figures I gave but when I gave the final figures at the end of the year,there was an overpayment,due.I asked her so it was my fault ,she replied"yes".
I asked her why I couldn't have the money debited from our current wtc,she replied I can't because of legalization.Which didn't answer my question but resugam has now answered.
I phoned the recovery dept to discuss a payment plan and found the girl very pleasant and helpful.

I think this must happen regularly,as most peoples income isn't consistent due to overtime etc.
I find these days talking to civil servants(if thats the right word,as I don't find the majority of them civil)very impersonal,combined with a lack of communication,can cause resentment,frustration and feelings of hopelessness.

Once again thanks to everyone who has helped with my problem and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
.



All I would say about this is do check this page of the website before you decide you are going to believe the TCO that it is your fault! They will always say it's your fault, even when it isn't! I suspect it being 'your fault' refers to the fact that you earned slightly more over the year than you'd anticipated, thereby creating an overpayment. So do look at the website for the reasons behind these overpayments before you delve too deeply in your own pockets and accept their assurances!

See here for just how big a mess they made of the system You must be logged in to see this link.



Machine god: WHAT IF YOU FAIL?
Neo: I won't

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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  22:06:29  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Hi Ali,thanks for reply.The problem is because this overpayment was from so long ago,I can't remember exactly what happen.Although when I filled out the form back in early 04,they asked for earnings from previous years.As I had been traveling outside the country I hadn't earnt anything for the years in question,so rang them to ask what I should put on the form.they said "put nil in the box"which I did.I then received new forms in april 04,to fill out and earnings for that tax year was 17000 pound.I then went abroad again in May for several months and on returning found there was a lot of money paid into my account which surprised me.
This was how the overpayment was made.
I read the above link and have spent a lot of time reading posts but the problem is, I'm a full time carer for my 2 very energetic young sons,age 11 months and 3 and a half.As my wife works,so its very difficult for me to do anything but pay this.If it was an open and shut case I would fight it but it's not.It's 10pm and they are still up while I'm trying to type.I'm sure you appreciate this.Regards Paul
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  22:13:33  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Paul

<<As my wife works,so its very difficult for me to do anything but pay this.If it was an open and shut case I would fight it but it's not.It's 10pm and they are still up while I'm trying to type.>>

Have you tried Lemonade & Gin?

Noo mind ye gan canny.

We divvent want ye cowpin yer creels!!
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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 14/12/2007 :  23:35:22  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Alan,I would if I could afford it.
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splashin
Rank; Really should become a politician



Belize
730 Posts

Posted - 15/12/2007 :  00:04:54  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ENIGMA


Hi Aunty and Alan,thanks for your quick response.Yes I do know what it is for,as I've received many requests for payment in the past.I can't remember if it was my fault or theirs that I was overpaid.

I didn't want to pay it back because it's such a longtime ago it happened,and any attempt to get it back has been feeble up to now.I assumed it had happened to so many people at the same time as me that the revenue had indeed wrote it off.

The last request I had from them was 6 months ago,when they asked for it.I suggested they took it from my current wtc each week.They replied,they couldn't do that and if I wasn't going to pay,they pass it on to their debt collecting dept.

Maybe I should ring them up to find out if it is their fault or mine?I tried to get through today but all I got was a message to press 5 and wait for them to reply.They never did.

I'm thinking maybe I've not got a case and should just offer to pay the money in instalments?
I think the picture is clearer to anyone reading it now and look forward to any comments.
Thanks for your informative replies,so far.




Enigma

Has HMC now passed this overpayment recovery to a debt collecting agency?



Splashin
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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 15/12/2007 :  13:04:28  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Hi spashin,yes they have passed it on to a debt collecting agency.
I phoned up the HMRC helpline today to clarify the reason I had been overpaid.The lady was very pleasant and helpful and asked me if I wanted her to send me a dispute form.I asked her if a lot of people with similar cases to me are in dispute,she replied"yes and I've nothing to lose by disputing.
So I've decided to dispute this especially as my wife has agreed to look after the children,so I can concentrate on the matter in hand.
After thinking about it and clarifying the facts with HMRC I beleive the overpayment was made by no fault of myself.
I understand now, that the award was based on my previous years earnings(year ending April 03)when in fact I hadn't worked then.Although I made the claim after my son was born in jan 04.I thought it a bit strange at the time.As I was asked for details of my previous years earnings and not my current years earnings,as I was then working.
On our present award,they asked for our current years earnings,so back then the system was clearly flawed.The same thing must have happened to literally millions of people.
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splashin
Rank; Really should become a politician



Belize
730 Posts

Posted - 15/12/2007 :  18:56:23  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ENIGMA

hi Resurgam,I'm still with the same partner but it is a new claim as I haven't work for a few years.
Ali,I rang the ctc support line to inform them my wife's wages have gone up. It wasn't easy as the woman was behaving like a computer,and I told her so.After getting that sorted out I asked why was I overpaid back in 04.she explained it was because the payments I received was based on the figures I gave but when I gave the final figures at the end of the year,there was an overpayment,due.I asked her so it was my fault ,she replied"yes".
I asked her why I couldn't have the money debited from our current wtc,she replied I can't because of legalisation.Which didn't answer my question but resugam has now answered.
I phoned the recovery dept to discuss a payment plan and found the girl very pleasant and helpful.

I think this must happen regularly,as most peoples income isn't consistent due to overtime etc.
I find these days talking to civil servants(if thats the right word,as I don't find the majority of them civil)very impersonal,combined with a lack of communication,can cause resentment,frustration and feelings of hopelessness.

Once again thanks to everyone who has helped with my problem and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
.



Enigma

So HMRC are saying your income increased by 4,500 (amount awarded usually drops around 200, for every 500 increase in your income). This is just a guide, before anyone jumps on me to say that it is not to the exact penny. How I arrive at this total, 4500, I have included the 2500 income disregard which applied to 03/04 Awards, the other 2000 must have been the increase in your household income. Is this about right??


Splashin
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 15/12/2007 :  19:01:27  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Hey Splashin

What's it like to be beautiful AND brainy??

Noo mind ye gan canny.

We divvent want ye cowpin yer creels!!

Edited by - Alan the Geordie on 15/12/2007 19:02:05
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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 16/12/2007 :  08:30:10  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Hi Splashing,the figures they based the award on was Nil,as I wasn't working for tax year ending April 03.the figures for year ending April 04 were 17000 pound.
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splashin
Rank; Really should become a politician



Belize
730 Posts

Posted - 18/12/2007 :  04:36:19  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
Hi Enigma

Why is it that HMRC cannot take this overpayment from your ongoing claim, if your circumstances haven't changed?

I don't know of any legislation which states that over payments cannot be recovered from ongoing awards, which have had no 'Major' new changes???

It doesn't matter who you think was at fault here. You WANT to KNOW, who's fault it was. Would you just pay back nearly a grand without a full explanation of why you should? I would DEFIANTLY DISPUTE, I don't know if it will stop the debt collector calling, but at least get a full explanation as to who's error it was.
Just don't open the door, to anyone you don't know. Tell the kids. I've done it in the past with mine. These Debt Collecting Agencies are a law unto themselves. And I wouldn't like to imagine what type of agency is bullying, hard working genuine people, to pay up. It must be like getting a visit from Freddie Kruger and The Wicked Witch of the East rolled into one. I bet there hit rate is very high.



Splashin
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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 18/12/2007 :  19:53:42  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Hi splashin,maybe my circumstances have changed.We have another child now, also its my wife working not me.

I have told the HMRC i'm going to dispute and to send me the forms.And the debt department I wasn't going to pay them,as I was going to dispute,so thats on hold.The girl asked me why I was going to dispute and I explained the facts ,which she had on her computer,about my debt and my reasons,and she agreed especially as I claimed I phoned HMRC back when I was making the claim and asked them what I should enter for the tax year in Question.She said they should be able to trace this call and that would support my dispute.

So they are not all GREEN EYED MONSTERS.
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 19/12/2007 :  07:57:46  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
In my experience, the Tax Credit Office won't and can't recover overpayments on a sole claim from a joint claim, so they will present them to you as a huge bill. I imagine they will quite happily recover joint overpayments from a sole ongoing claim, as they're quite happy to locate one of the two original parties, even if it means one pays everything and the other nothing. I am certainly no expert, but I would have thought that in all other situations they would happily reclaim from ongoing awards.

Whether they should or not is another matter. I'd advise everyone who has not had an adequate explanation of how their overpayment arose to challenge and dispute it until such time as they are happy with the explanation given and feel they should repay it. If you are not aware that you are at fault, then chances are, you're not. And I agree with ENIGMA - HMRC employees are often far from being monsters. Like everyone and everything else, some are lovely, some obnoxious, and everything in between. Every HMRC employee who has ever talked frankly to me about their job (and there have been a few) has said they don't agree with the system as it stands and find it awkward and unpleasant to administer. Being their job, they have few options - they either get on with it without question, try to work within the rules as fairly and compassionately as they can, get out and/or whistleblow - and some will try to use their knowledge to help those stuck in this mess: us. I have grown to have respect for HMRC employees, past and present, and bear them no malice. I do believe, however, that the system is heavily stacked against honest claimants and drastically needs to change. And I do think HMRC employees can play a massive role in this, one way or another. It takes great courage to stand up and tell HMRC and the government that things aren't yet right, but I do believe people are already doing this in some small way, and will eventually do so in greater numbers and more powerfully. Okay, some things we have all tried have not quite come off as yet, but that doesn't mean to say that it can't be done.

Machine god: WHAT IF YOU FAIL?
Neo: I won't

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n/a
deleted



41 Posts

Posted - 19/12/2007 :  16:41:24  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
I've decided to write to my M.P.Primary to protest about the content of the letter of heading "Notice Warning of Legal Proceedings".As I consider content of this letter to be a breach of our human rights (maybe rather strong words?)
This is my first draft, I know it's a bit long winded but basically it's outlining my reasons for protesting and how I'm progressing with sorting out my overpayment.So I would be interested in suggestions for any alterations.

I would also like to ask permission to mention this forums name and my alias,so hopefully my M.P will take a look and get involved.

O.k. here goes:
20/12/07
Dear Mr.Paice,

I would like to draw your attention to the enclosed letter 1) Notice Warning of Legal Proceedings from the inland Revenue dated 5 December 2007,(which I received on the 13 December).

I find the content of this letter both threatening and misleading with the sole intention to cause maximum distress to recover this overpayment.Especially the demand in bold ink "You must make payment in full by 19 December 2007" then continues with threats of court action.And suggests you read the enclosed information on Magistrate court proceedings if you do this and understand what it says,you realize there is no point in going to court because you can't win.

However it does go onto say "If you believe there are reasons why I should not proceed or you need help or advice,please telephone the above number and ask for the Magistrates Court section Quoting the reference shown.
All very well,if you haven't been scared of by the above demands and threats,what can you say?

My protest is that I think the majority of people who receive this letter are vulnerable people and either 1) pay the debt in full if they have the money(even though they will have to get even further in debt with bills and suffer even more hardship) or 2) throw the demand in the bin,so they eventually end up with a summons,court appearance more costs and then threat of bailiffs ,more distress and hardship.Or 3) ring the number,which is what I did,I rang several times but it was always busy.

I decided to do some research on the internet,as I felt I wasn't the only one with this problem,found an excellent support group and posted for advice.I received a few replies very quick,asking for more information.
The next day I rang the child tax credit helpline,to inform them my wife's earnings had recently gone up.Also to ask exactly why I had been overpaid.They explained the reason why and I asked them if it was my fault,they replied "yes it was".

I again tried the " debt collection agency" and got through this time.As I used to be self employed I had dealings with the Revenue before and knew I could asked if I could pay by installments.A payment plan was agreed and posted to me.

I then posted on the forum what I had done and was advised not to take the Revenue's word for it and to dispute the debt.I phoned the child credit tax helpline to ask them to send me the dispute forms.By now I had received the payment plan from the debt collecting agency,so I phoned them on a new number to inform them I was filing a dispute,so I wasn't going to start my payment plan.
The girl asked me why I was going to dispute and I explained the facts ,which she had on her computer,about my debt and my reasons,and she agreed ,that I had a good case,especially as I claimed I phoned the Revenue back when I was making the claim and asked them what I should enter for the tax year in Question.She said they should be able to trace this call and that would support my dispute.

To reiterate the two points I would like to raise are 1) On the Notice Warning of Legal Proceedings the debt may be paid in installments and 2) people can dispute the debt

I beg you,please take the time a look at the tax credit casualties website,which I'm actively involved in.My member name is ENIGMA.You will see there are thousands of people in a worst predicament then me,due to no fault of there own.people the government should be helping and not causing distress and misery.

Afterwards please sign the petition if you agree this shambles needs rectifying.

I'm looking forward to any comments you may have and take this opportunity to wish you a good Christmas

Yours Sincerely,




Edited by - n/a on 22/12/2007 17:59:59
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