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Rank; Hector Tax Inspector

7 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2010 :  14:30:33  Show Profile Send kris_malk a Private Message
Apologies for being out of touch for a while, and not updating 'you' as to our continuing situation.

Our internet has gone down at home and our Polish provider's customer service skills leave a lot to be desired. Somewhat similar to the HMRC's...hhhmmm...I wonder if the HMRC is run by, surely not. More likely, the HMRC management came here for their customer service training...yes, that's reasonable...

Anyway, "nice" to see so many new customers coming through the TaxCCs 'door'; proves the point really...

Since the last time I wrote, miracle beyond miracle, even though it wasn't sent by recorded delivery, our SAR documentation came about 3 weeks ago, and I've been sifting through it since. And, what fun(?!).

I remember reading somewhere on here that a lady, on receiving her SAR documents, described them as "repetitive". Now I know what she meant. Of the 286 pages of joy held within, what was actually meaningful and useful amounted only to between 5 and 10 pages. So, it's at least nice to know the Brazilian rainforests are being put to good use(!?).

Apart from 'minor' adminstrative errors (eg. my Polish wife is recorded as a UK National constantly and apparently I started my previous job in England 2 months later than I actually did) all the Payments Via Employer checked out with my P60s. According to the SAR stuff, there were also other Direct Payments made via BACS, into our bank account. Although I seem to recall someone suggesting the idea of 'phantom' payments', unfortunately, we do not have statements from that far back, so we can't verify this possibility.

The only 'major' thing that I could find 2006, we received a one-off inheritance payment following the death of my Mother, that I declared on the award review for the following period (yes, daft perhaps, but that's me, honest guv'nr. I am beginning to realise that if I was an unscrupulous, lying, thieving, caniving git, I could have really gone places in my life...the world of politics, for example...oh well.) So, this changed our circumstances, of course and led to an 'overpayment'.

But, it doesn't end there. The SAR documentation also suggests that this one-off payment was included in following award periods also, thus artificially inflating our income and leading to the next 'overpayment'.

As I thought in a previous message - our case is not as complicated as many others and hence we have "less" reason for argument. Our battle is then with the system, more than anything else.

What occurred to me the other day is that the word 'credit' is very similar to the Polish word 'kredyt'. Over here, that is what you would translate as a mortgage. Being that the Tax Credit system seems to pay "in advance" and reacts to changes after, it feels like we've been "loaned" money, which could be recouped at any given point in time. As 'Graham' pointed out in one of his articles (on the site) although it's called 'Tax Credit', it has nothing to do with tax. So, I feel like I'm back at University, under the student loan system, and now I've reached the end of my course and am earning above the minimum requirement, I'm having to pay my loan back.

How very odd.

I'm wondering what to do now.

Of course, I've checked out 'Dispute Step 3' and am considering a 2nd Tier Complaint simply on the grounds that since sending off my TC 846 (back on Feb.16th) I've heard absolutely bugger all from anyone, even though they have our address, a contact number and an email. Yes, we now live in Poland and yes that may make communication a bit more awkward, but these are not Victorian times and we are well beyond the need to rely on pigeons to carry messages for us. At least, I thought so.

So, every day I leave our flat and check the post box, nervous that sitting in there is a court summons waiting for my sweaty hand. Or, I often think that the next knock at the door will be a polite and warm representative of the Polish mafia acting as a bailiff for the HMRC and wanting to take my wife and son to be sold to some Middle-Eastern tribal lord.

I confess, I'm sat here right now a little more downbeat and disheartened than before and although I want to keep beating the drum, my sticks are becoming splintered and the drumhead is sounding dull and tuneless.

These could be the first signs of 'real' stress over all this...thanks Tax Credits for helping my family out(??!!).

All I can think of now is a scene similar to that from 'The Matrix' - do I take the blue pill - everything goes back to normal and I wake up as if nothing happened. Or, do I take the red pill and find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes...hhhmmm...

Any advice that any of you TCs sages could give would be well received.

PS: I don't like politics and I don't like politicians, and recently I've had good cause, like many of us, to think this (I'm thinking the expenses scandal and the more recent MPs being granted legal aid are additional dishes of dislike to enjoy). But, I read with interest the 'Election 2010 Manifestos' article (again, by Graham). It did not fill me with great confidence. I have read on here the idea of an amnesty, but fear this will just be viewed as a word by whoever gets in post-May 6th. The 'money' owed is still 'government money' and they will attempt to recoup it, whatever. Yes I agree, the "floating" voter will prove very important, but after what I've read and seen recently about the 3 'major' parties, I've seen nothing to alter my opinion - I am a floating voter and I'm floating away...

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Mountain View

Rank; Really should become a politician

730 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2010 :  13:54:19  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
Hi Kris_Malk

Please remind me what TCO have said caused your overpayment, was it none return of your end of year declaration?
With regards to your date of employment not being accurate, if you made a claim in 2003 and had your claim form in by 31st July, then you would be paid for the full tax year.
The pages of repetitive data, these are all your system changes that have ever occurred on your system file.
If you can refresh the reasons you where overpaid, I will try and point you in the right direction of what you need to be looking for.

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Rank; Hector Tax Inspector

7 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2010 :  16:11:23  Show Profile Send kris_malk a Private Message
Thank you 'Splashin', as ever, for the prompt response.

Over the phone (I spoke to the 'Helpline' bods the day after receiving our Notices of Payment - Jan.21st) I was only told my overpayments had occurred due to a "change of circumstances". A little vague perhaps, but that's what the nice lady said. And, as I suggested, I've heard nothing from anybody since, not even a formal reply to my TC 846...

Our claim was made during the 2005-06 award period.

Hope this helps...
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Rank; Really should become a politician

730 Posts

Posted - 16/04/2010 :  11:30:02  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
Originally posted by kris_malk

Thank you 'Splashin', as ever, for the prompt response.

Over the phone (I spoke to the 'Helpline' bods the day after receiving our Notices of Payment - Jan.21st) I was only told my overpayment's had occurred due to a "change of circumstances". A little vague perhaps, but that's what the nice lady said. And, as I suggested, I've heard nothing from anybody since, not even a formal reply to my TC 846...

Our claim was made during the 2005-06 award period.

Hope this helps...
I first heard about Tax Credits when my wife and myself went to our local Tax Office (Coventry), a few months after going to Nuneaton. We were trying to sort out a National Insurance number for my wife. The adviser mentioned Tax Credits in passing and suggested we may be eligible.

Following our application, we received a lump-sum cheques (mentioned previously) for some £2,500 (I can't recall the exact amount). Although this was welcome given our situation at the time, it did rather set up the expectation that any further payments would be received in the same way. I confess, I didn't check my past wage slips afterwords for further payments until we received the three 'Notices of Payment' (again, I mentioned this before).

I was being 'human' again.

With a cheques, I could see and feel the benefit of the Tax Credits. Any other way just wasn't the same, because that is a simple way of understanding how the 'system' assists me. The unseen, electronic money of modern financing tends to escape my attention.

Following the cheques, I received payments into my wages of between £329.22 (Aug. 2005) and £12.74 (Feb. 2006) at which point, as already indicated, they stopped.

Maybe I should have checked my wage slips before, but I fear like many others, as long as money appears in my bank account at the appropriate time every month and any deductions aren't too unseemly, that's all I need to know.

But, all things Tax Credit changed when we received our award notice for April 2006 to April 2007 - we had been overpaid, we were now due nothing and money would be recouped from future "awards". Annual Reviews for following periods also indicated the same.

Hi Kris malk

I have picked out a couple of things you have said and would like a little more info, just to get my head round how the overpayment might have occurred.
1. Find the actual start date of your claim. I think it would be around the same time as your wife was issued with a NI number. It will show on the printed data showing App1 App2 info etc. If the advisor advised you about claiming it, who completed the claim pack, them or you?
2. Do you have any children on this initial claim, or were you just getting WTC.
3. You say you returned you renewal pack, this would have first been rec'd by you in about May 2005, because you say you made your claim in March 2005, this would mean you were still in the tax year 04-05.
Then after you returned your declaration, you found out you had been overpaid and it would be recovered cross year from future awards. Can you recall how much this amount was?
4. Do you think the change of circumstances the helpline spoke of, could be to do you no longer claiming tax credits, so now HMRC have not got a future award to recover the overpayment's from, so they are coming at you direct.
5. The amount you declared in 2006 with the inheritance, was that for the tax year 05-06 or 06-07, was it rec'd prior to 5th April 06 or after?
6. If your wife had/has a NI number then she would be classed as a UK National on this system, so that would be right.
7. You also say 'But, it doesn't end there. The SAR documentation also suggests that this one-off payment was included in following award periods also, thus artificially inflating our income and leading to the next 'overpayment'.
The SAR documents may show the amount detailed in another screen print, but they usually are correct, HMRC have to give you a copy of every part of that system and some times this means copy & pasting the same things, just so all the information is shown. I find it very good to find screen shots of these same shots and then compare, them for any differences, you would be surprised how many you can come across.
I don't get you here?? Please explain about inflating the income bit. Any money paid by tax credits is based on income, they would not add this amount onto your gross annual income, they get your annual income and then they pay you what your entitled to on top of that tax free.

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Rank; Hector Tax Inspector

7 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2010 :  14:20:12  Show Profile Send kris_malk a Private Message

In response to your various questions...

1). You're right about the dates of the application and the wife's NI No. application being close. The date '17/1/05/ is quoted as the date the TCs application was received. My wife's NI No. application was on '22/2/05'. Interestingly (?) this application was made on a 'DCI 1' "Tax Credit Inspired Application" form and signed by an adviser from our local Tax Office (then, Coventry). Another form is present; a 'TC 648', an Internal General Purpose form. This would seem to indicate the 'moment' my wife became included on our TCs claim.

2). Yes, 1 child, so we got both WTC and CTC.

3). Yes. We received a payment of 2,798.44 for the period 6/4/04 to 5/4/05; this is the lump-sum I spoke of previously. We then completed a renewal dated 10/7/05, which was received on 1/8/05.

The 'amount' you ask about constitutes the first Notice of Overpayment (received 21/1/10)= 291.56. But, there is also another amount of 202.91 which was "Recovered from other awards", totalling 494.47. This exact total constitutes the reduction due to our income being over the 7,896.00 lowest WTC taper point.

4). Simply put, yes. If our TCs were annulled, as someone previously suggested, then the only way they could recoup any amount would be from us now, especially as we no longer reside in the UK.

5). This Annual Declaration was for the period 6/4/05 to 5/4/06 and dated 2/7/06. So, it was received after 5/4/06.

6). Wow, the HMRC got something right!! What a joyous moment...Yes, I know, shouldn't speak too soon, they may have got all this right...

7). I included the 10,000 inheritance in the 'Part 2 Income Details', under the small section 'Other Income'. This went on the Annual Declaration mentioned in 5). The corresponding information in the SAR documentation says that our 'Household Income' was a little under 24.5k, when on the Declaration my work income was under 16k (plus, an "in kind" amount of about 1k).

There is no way I was earning 24.5k (as I was earning just under 19k when I left the job in 2009, after nearly 5 years of "standard" increments!) so I don't see where else the extra 7.5ish-k could've come from. I assume/d that as being declared under 'Other Income', they would and apparently have included it???

So, does what you say mean the 10k inheritance shouldn't have been included (if it has!) and that it did indeed create the second and third Notices of Payment????

I'm not sure a mistake has been made, in fact I'm not sure of a lot to do with all being 'human' again, and maybe I didn't to my bit in sending off an Annual Declaration when I should have, but I'm getting bloody annoyed now!!

If my understanding is correct, TCs are paid for a certain period, based on information given by 'us', but actually paid after that period (or is it before...aaggghhhh!!!!!) hence why the overpayments occur. What I'm getting at is, if the actual payments are made real-time, otherwise how else would the overpayments occur?

So, if and when a change happens, the TC payments are adjusted after the fact and the overpayments stem from the difference.

An obvious thing to say, but that's a real half-arsed way of doing it and basically means we're all in debt before we've actually been paid anything (No.3 of my list being a case-in-point). Therefore, sending off forms as and when required to or not, makes no damn difference at all.

In fact, it appears that sending out the Annual Renewal is merely putting off the inevitable – that a lovely, brown envelope full of joyous news has gone next door and the envelope sat on your doormat is actually that little HMRC sting in the tail that has been waiting patiently, for years in fact, to bite you in the rear.

Thanks again 'Splashin'. Sorry for my annoyance/frustration, but I am beginning to get a bit frazzled with all this. I don’t know whether to just pay up and be done with it or to scrap on.

I realise, perhaps like many, that I may not have taken my ‘reponsibilities’ regarding information giving, but as I’ve suggested, the system is such that apparently, not only is it weighted against us, but filling out and sending back all the forms under the sun will not stop an overpayment occurring, only delay when you get it!?

Still, there's an election round the corner and a chance to end all this misery (?). Tally ho!!!
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