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n/a
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20 Posts

Posted - 13/01/2008 :  22:56:36  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Hi All. It is my wife who is being hounded by HMRC for an overpayment which we believe is incorrectly being reclaimed by HMRC.

Background is that she was claiming as a single parent until we married and lived together from November 2004. She was told at the initial claim that payments were based on the previous 12 months income/circumstances so believed that when she told HMRC in November 2004 about us, her payments would stay the same until April 2005 with the new tax year. HMRC acknowledged her letter in November 2004 saying that the change from single to couple was made.

So in April 2005 when her payments dropped from over £400 to £70 she assumed that the change was due to our marriage. Surely this is reasonable?

In September she gets not one but two different "Notice to Pay" demands. No previous advice, just the demand. In October she gets a TC602E but addressed to her previous name (not her current married name). This starts bells ringing - have they in fact actioned the marriage change or are they still overpaying her?

Further correspondence back and forth draws nothing from HMRC, apart from we've not made a mistake and you should have realised you are being overpaid, so pay us back.

Wrote to MP in May 2007. HMRC write to him with the same stance.

Write to HMRC who seem to reply to every other letter. A fair number our letters go unanswered, as do questions posed within letters that are replied to. HMRC stance unchanged.

More threats follow from HMRC received.

29 September 2007. Out of the blue a letter arrives from HMRC (in reply to one sent several weeks earlier) in which they categorically state they have overpaid my wife "due to a system error".

So, after years of claiming they have not made a mistake, they now say there was a syetem error on their part.

Further correspondence exchanged with HMRC but they maintain their original decision stands as we have not provided any new evidence. I point out that HMRC provided their own "new evidence" in the form of the "system error" letter. Cuts no ice with HMRC as a letter arrives on 14 December threatening Court action unless payment is made in full. She has 28 days to reply. Replies following day again pointing out discrepancies in HMRC logic (and indeed the amount of overpayment which ranges from £1,944 in Sept 2006 to £2,028 in May 2007 to £1,901 currently).

The 28 days has expired and no reply as yet from HMRC.

Our argument is that if HMRC cannot agree whether they have made an error or not, cannot agree to whom they are writing (Mrs W or Mrs R) and cannot agree on the amount, how on earth can it be reasonably expected that we can believe the payments were correct!

I am an accountant and I cannot work it out.

The latest position is that I have referred it to my MP again and am preparing a submission to the Adjudicator's Office.

Any further help or advice appreciated as it is really getting to my wife who is at present also being treated for a severe medical condition as well as depression.

Thank you very much, sorry it's so long!

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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 13/01/2008 :  23:52:43  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Hello Matty and Welcome.

First may I offer my sympathy to your wife. Depression itself is an awful thing - I'm a sufferer myself, as is my Mother, ex-wife and eldest son.

You're doing the right things (I think) by disputing this matter AND involving your MP. Our MP's work for us - whether they like it or not - so let's all make them work!

One other thing I'd like you to do is get the media involved - local newspaper, radio & TV - because we have found that HMRC do not like adverse publicity, and when the spotlight shines on them they tend to back down.

Write to Gordon Brown too telling him just what you've told us here; that you're an accountant and you can't make head nor tail of HIS system of Tax Credits and ask him - personally - to explain what has gone wrong with your claim. When he can't, go to the press with that too!

Understand here and now, that this is not a game of cricket - it is a dirty messy war and you need to fight dirty!

You don't believe me? Well I'm a bit of a legend around here because not only did I WIN my case, I have TWO letters of apology from Dawn Primarolo who was at th etime in charge of this farce and ONE from her successor - some woman called Kennedy I think. ALL of these are framed and available for pubic viewing hung on my netty (toilet to you) wall!
I won by ignoring the rules and giving them stick.

Right! here's a link to our main site; You must be logged in to see this link.

When you get there I want you to first click on the 8th button down on the left-hand side and sign our petition.

You - as an accountant - will, or should know that there's no such thing as a "Free Lunch" so we would be grateful if you would do at least this in exchange for our advice.

Then click on the 6th button down and have a nosey around everything you find there.

That's all from me for now my Friend - other members of the gang will be along soon to offer their excellent advice.

Don't lose heart and remember that you have good friends here - including me, even if I do seem a bit abrasive sometimes!

Stay in touch!!

Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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Robert
Admin



United Kingdom
829 Posts

Posted - 14/01/2008 :  11:42:26  Show Profile Send Robert a Private Message
Hi Mattydj..

Regarding responses from HMRC,you can ask ten questions you will be lucky if they answer one..even MPs have the same trouble.go with alans advice, write leters of COMPLAINT and send recorded delivery..HMRC like loosing letters. even the ones i sent last year by recorded delivery, have been lost.. so i am sending them again,with another complaint attached..

Alan lovely complaints...LOL

The truth is out there.. GO get it......Non Illigitamus Carborundum

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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 14/01/2008 :  12:40:50  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Aye Bonny Lad. Complaints and media attention - that's the "posh" term for telling the newspaper people about your plight - is the way to do it!

Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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n/a
deleted



20 Posts

Posted - 14/01/2008 :  22:21:42  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Alan, thanks for your comments. I'm already one step ahead of you as I signed the petition a while ago and have persuaded one or two others to sign.

As regards for publicity, my wife is understandably shy of publicity at the moment so I hope that you will understand that this option is one that, though has been considered, at the moment is not one we wish to take. I appreciate that it would probably be a helping hand, but we'll have to wait a while. The only option would be to ask the local press to respect our privacy, but a story without names and pictures isn't very newsworthy as I have found in previous experience with car clampers (I was threatened you see).

My MP appears to be sitting on the fence, not having replied to any letter since May. I suppose he has a lot on his plate as he is one of Gordon's chief henchmen now. He had a local surgery last Saturday, unfortunately I didn't find out until 30 minutes before (late reading the local paper) and couldn't get an appointment to see him.

I have been around the site and followed some of the advice along with advice from other, reputable sources.

I totally agree that this is an unfair battle, with one side having no scruples whatsoever. And I know I still have my scruples!!

I like the idea of writing to Gordon Brown, though I might get more sense from Howard Brown (but then again....)

One this is for sure, I like a good fight. We have won 2 small claims court cases and took on Incapacity Benefit and won that too as well has having a load of bank charges refunded, so you see I've got a bit of previous too!

Thanks again,
Matthew
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 15/01/2008 :  07:39:36  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
One thing you could consider doing, Mattydj, if your wife was happy with that, is send me a really brief case study - a bit like a condensed version of your first post - and all that needs to go on that is 'Jo(e) Bloggs, Norwich' or even 'Jo(e) Bloggs, Norfolk', if you would prefer. Please see this thread for details:

You must be logged in to see this link.

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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kazbabe
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



38 Posts

Posted - 24/01/2008 :  11:13:26  Show Profile Send kazbabe a Private Message
hi mattdj im in a similar position as your wife,mine happened when although i told them i'd moved in with my partner, they changed my address but didnt cancel the single claim and start a joint claim up.
i had the similar letter of 'computer error' and also told me that although i had told them in time i knew the payments were wrong.i have been fighting for the last year.i have got my mp involved big time by also telling him that others are in the same position as i am. they have written back to him telling them i waited to tell them i had moved in with my partner till the last day but then have written to me today to tell me another date.im writing a letter of complaint back and my mp has written again with letters i have sent them.
unfortunately each time it goes to another person to deal with.but please keep fighting,the more doing that the more they should see that the tax credits just isnt working as it should!!!!

good luck
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 24/01/2008 :  11:46:04  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Hi Matty

You say your MP is a fence sitter?

Maybe a letter to his opposite number is in order here?

Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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n/a
deleted



20 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2008 :  11:45:11  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Well, HMRC have done well. My SAR request reply has arrived today and there must be over 100 pieces of paper in the envelope - sent Special Delivery! More expense!

I've had a quick look through and there are pages and pages of calculations and computer screen shotss, most of which are completely meaningless or confusing. I've looked at the figures and they are baffling to follow.

There is also nothing in the pack that refers to before 2004-05 which although that is the period in dispute, it would have been helpful to have sight of previous correspondence and calls that might have a bearing on current events.

I have found one or two items that are interesting though, relating to our marriage on 20 November 2004.

One is a letter that my wife wrote, dated 26 November 2004 telling HMRC that she had tried to phone them repeatedly over the previous 2 weeks to tell them about her marriage to me. I remember now that she had difficulty in getting through (in fact she never did) because, not working in an office environment, she did not have access to a telephone all day and was restricted to when she could make telephone calls. HMRC cannot expect people to have telephone access 24 hours a day and to be able to keep redialling when they continually get the engaged tone.

The HMRC have stamped this letter "Received 29 November", yet on their notes they say that they were not advised until 7 December which they say was an unacceptable delay of nearly 3 weeks.

I have put it to them that 29 November is in fact, given weekends, only 1 week which, in my opinion is not unreasonable. Also, why, if they received this, did they not action it there and then?

Secondly they refer to an S17 sent to her on 12 June 2005. I don't know what this document is as she never received it. Also, this document does not appear to be in the papers received from HMRC.

Quite by coincidence, a letter from the Adjudicators Office came today. The AO has said that they cannot investigate yet as we have not been through the whole of HMRCs Complaints Procedure. The HMRC appear to think that they have as, by sending out letters threatening court action, they don't appear to have left much room to work in. Perhaps this is their bully boy tactics.

So, today I am preparing to write yet another letter to HMRC. The address the AO have given me is yet another department! That makes 4 now, no wonder HMRC can't agree on anything!

Here's hoping (ha!), thanks for all your support.

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missfroy2
Mod



298 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2008 :  12:11:15  Show Profile Send missfroy2 a Private Message
Some points that may be useful for you:

1. Section 17 forms are renewal forms asking you for information for the year just ended. They wouldn't be in the pack as are system generated and mailed. There should be a note on the system to say a S.17 was issued.

2. When the marriage was reported the single claim should have ended and a new joint claim made. i take it this didn't happen.

3. The issue of HMRC sending out payment demands is quite separate in the eyes of HMRC from the complaints procedure. Complaints do not stop recovery of tax credits, only disputes do. Once a dispute is turned down you have to exhaust HMRC's own complaints procedure before getting to the Adjudicator. That involves Tier 1 and Tier 2 complaints at the Tax Credit Office. I advise you do this as quickly as possible. You can ask for a suspension whilst they look at the complaint as it seems some HMRC staff do this, but certainly it is not HMRC policy to do so. Hope that sheds some light on the matter.

If you are struggling to understand the paperwork seek advice, Citizens Advice, Low incomes Tax Reform Group etc.. may be able to help.

MF2
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n/a
deleted



20 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2008 :  13:26:34  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Thanks missfroy2. Comments as follows:

1. There is a computer print regarding the issue of an S17 (to Mrs R - her former name) on 12/06/05. It says Manually issued - N. That's it. However, because this never arrived, we couldn't reply to it.

2. You are correct. My wife tried ringing TCO around the time we got married. Because she wasn't in an office environment, she couldn't sit on the phone all the time and kept getting engaged. After 2 weeks she wrote to them and they acknowledged the letter. From the pack, they stamped the letter as arriving on 29 Nov, but then later claim not to have been advised until 7 Dec. Then they don't appear to have actioned it until April 2005.

3. It was the HMRC themselves (and our MP) that told us to write to the Adjudicator's Office. Seemingly HMRC consider that our complaint has reached its conclusion with them, yet the AO do not.

I have discovered some other bits and pieces in the pack. Like a letter writing off an overpayment of £166.04 for 2003-04 that we know nothing about!! There are 3 letters that HMRC have sent that we have never received too.

They also declined to write off the sum of £46.33 on 20 Oct 2006 but then agreed to write this sum off on 13 Nov 2006. This "overpayment" was caused by the same reasons as the £1,901 overpayment! I have asked them why they can write one figure off but not the other.

I have just compiled yet another missive to HMRC pointing out the discrepancies again and asking for the complaint to be raised to thenext level and the debt recovery to be suspended (again).

Our CAB are completely bogged down. I have tried many times to ring them but can never get through.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2008 :  23:54:50  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Matty

You will never ever get through to any CAB on the telephone.

The first step - unfortunately - is to visit their office bright & early in ht e morning & wait in the queue. You may be seen that same day, or you may have to try again the next day - or even the day after.

Once you have been seen though, you will usually be given an unlisted telephone number so from then on you will be able to contact them by telephone.

The CAB is a voluntary oranisation & as such is often short of volunteers and always short of funds, but they are worth having in your corner so please persevere with them.

Geordie: "Alreet, de ye fancy a Broon?"

English: "Hello, fancy coming for a drink?"
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n/a
deleted



20 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2008 :  22:38:49  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Literally unfortunately Alan, I can't spare the time to go and queue outside the CAB with all the others. I don't think my employer would like it if I took time off work either!

I know htis is important, but earning some pennies to pay the bills is too!

Another letter gone to HMRC today. Interesting, the HMRC address given to me by the Adjudicator's Office has the postcode PR1 9AT. Now, if you remove he numbers.....
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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2008 :  22:46:57  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
'Another letter gone to HMRC today. Interesting, the HMRC address given to me by the Adjudicator's Office has the postcode PR1 9AT. Now, if you remove he numbers.....'

Like it. How apt!

"You can dress a pig in a suit but you can't stop it grunting"
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splashin
Rank; Really should become a politician



Belize
730 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2008 :  01:29:54  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by mattydj

Literally unfortunately Alan, I can't spare the time to go and queue outside the CAB with all the others. I don't think my employer would like it if I took time off work either!

I know htis is important, but earning some pennies to pay the bills is too!

Another letter gone to HMRC today. Interesting, the HMRC address given to me by the Adjudicator's Office has the postcode PR1 9AT. Now, if you remove he numbers.....



Cmon Now Matt

I know that time off to sort things like this are not something we like to ask time off for. But this will not go away. It seems to me you are the money head in your relationship. (u know you make the finacial descisions) so you need to go and sort it out.

A WISE MAN FINDS MORE OPPURTUNITY THAN HE COME'S ACROSS



Splashin
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2008 :  11:42:55  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
I give up!

Geordie: "Alreet, de ye fancy a Broon?"

English: "Hello, fancy coming for a drink?"
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n/a
deleted



20 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2008 :  23:27:16  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Thank you for your comments, but I cannot spare the time to queue up with the doleies, dossers and assorted unwashed at our CAB, which seems to be a refuge for the homeless and jobless. I have enough trouble at work at the moment without asking for more time off to stand around doing nothing.

The last time I tried to get into the CAB, I was kept waiting for 3 hours and then told to come back the following day. Sod that.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2008 :  01:29:07  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>>I cannot spare the time to queue up with the doleies, dossers and assorted unwashed at our CAB, which seems to be a refuge for the homeless and jobless.>>

I have to say I find your comments judgmental, unpleasant and unwelcome.

So far as I'm concerned they have no place on this forum.

There but for fortune my Friend!




Edited by - Alan the Geordie on 08/02/2008 08:28:30
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2008 :  15:03:28  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
The CAB are certainly busy and in popular demand, and that can leave us with a problem: that whilst the TCC can fill the breach, we are NOT (at the moment, although we are working on that, too...) trained professionals. Also, our time is finite, and the more casework we do, the less campaigning. Except, of course, every dispute, complaint and challenge to the Tax Credit Office is in itself a vote against an unfair system and leverage towards a more just one.

We are going to reach saturation point it we do it all ourselves. So I would suggest we use the CAB and LITRG where we can - and other advice agencies too - and use the DIY route when we have to.

Please, everyone, do consider actively supporting this - YOUR - campaign as well!

Let's get a thread started on how each of us proposes to help the common cause, shall we?

And please, let's respect each other, and those in worse situations than ours.

I am glad we can also comment on the comment and not the maker of it!!

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is…the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
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Robert
Admin



United Kingdom
829 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2008 :  19:15:49  Show Profile Send Robert a Private Message
Hi mattydj..

I have recently been in touch with the CAB, to help my daughter out of her finacial difficulties..i simply rang and left a message someone rang back the next day.. i found them to be very helpful.and the continued help they are giving is evcellent..

Just my 2p

The truth is out there.. GO get it......Non Illigitamus Carborundum

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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2008 :  19:53:23  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
I have found that smaller CABs out of town are sometimes easier to access. If there is a main one in your local town that is very busy, check to see whether there is another in a smaller town, village or suburb nearby.

Good luck!!

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