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Rank; Hector Tax Inspector

4 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2010 :  20:05:39  Show Profile Send Ponomis a Private Message
Hi, having just received my tax credits renewal form and being a good claimant, immidiately rang to query the bit that said my wife was receiving income support when she is not. As she has not claimed income support since early 2008 they are now saying we owe 4,900. This is a quick rundown of my story and if anyone thinks my appeal will be successful.

We are a couple with two children.
In Feb-Mar 2008 my wife (then girlfriend) split up briefly. We went from a joint claim to a single claim for her with her claiming income support aswell. We then got back together at the end of March, she rang them on Apr 1, 2008 to tell them I was back on the claim and she was no longer receiving income support. This was fine and everything went back to normal. HMRC claim they don't have record of this as they didn't record all calls then.

In May 2008 we submitted our renewal and definately DID NOT tick the income support box.

Sometime in August 2008 (verified by the tax credits people) the income support claim for her was added back to our claim and the tax credits jumped up. We did not ask for this to happen and it wasn't initiated by us. I immidiately rang up to verify that our tax credits were right and they asked me if my partner claimed income support. I said she wasn't and was reassured by the phone monkey that we were receiving the right amount. About a month later I still was unsure so rang again to check if it was right and was reassured again. They did however asked me about income support and I said we didn't receive it. They have told us that they have record of me querying the claim. Because the system is so complicated I just went with it because I had been reassured.

In may 2009 we renewed our claim again and DID NOT check the income support box. As our circumstances did not change I didn't have much contact with them in that year, but seem to remember speaking to them once and they, again, queried the income support with me clarifying that my wife received it for a short time as a single claim.

That brings us up to today, with me thourougly annoyed as I don't have that amount of money to pay back. Looking back on some of the old awards it does say that she received income support, but because we never put it on any renewals and I told them several times over the phone I assumed it was always referring in the past tense about the few weeks when she did receive it.

What really annoys me is that they let it go on for so long through two renewals with us not checking the income support box. Also, why was there no common sense when looking at my income, it is quite clear my wife would not be able to receive income support. I have not actually received the demand in the post yet, but it is already causing stress. Has anyone heard of a similiar situation and if so, how did it turn out?


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Mountain View

Rank; Really should become a politician

730 Posts

Posted - 21/04/2010 :  11:17:44  Show Profile Send splashin a Private Message
Hi Ponomis

Welcome to our forum. You need to DISPUTE this overpayment and request a SAR from TCO. Click this link and follow the steps on how to DISPUTE. You must be logged in to see this link.

With regards to going from the single claim to the new fresh joint application. Did you get new award notices when you made the fresh claim, showing both names on the award? You also must remember. For the tax year in question. Your partner would have got 3 x Declaration's to complete. You would have got 2 x declarations. Can you recall how many you may have got?
In my opinion if this Income Support question was being asked each time a call was made to TCO, then it was probably present. Until you have the basic facts of how the overpayment occurred in your possession your DISPUTE plea to TCO will fall on deafened ears. You need proof, that, the call was made informing TCO about you getting back together.
Any Questions Please Ask

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341 Posts

Posted - 21/04/2010 :  21:59:56  Show Profile Send samthe a Private Message
1. "she rang them on Apr 1, 2008 to tell them I was back on the claim and she was no longer receiving income support. This was fine and everything went back to normal. HMRC claim they don't have record of this as they didn't record all calls then."

Have HMRC put this in writing? If so it would be interesting to see exactly what they said. My understanding has been that there were times when not all calls were recorded but that this was in earlier years - not as late as 2008. It might be worth you ringing Litrg about this - I think they may have more specific information on it.

If HMRC have not put this in writing it could be that what you have been told is nonsense - that the call was recorded but the operative who took it failed to make notes on the system properly. As part of your dispute process you must do a SARN. Make sure you ask for all the paperwork & computer entries, & also a CD of all phone calls. Make separate SARN applications for the single claim (signed by your wife) & for each of the couple claims (signed by both of you), quoting the start & end dates for each claim as accurately as you can & making it clear you require everything covering the whole period of each claim.

2. The difficulty you are likely to have is that, if they went on issuing award notices showing your wife as on Income Support, they will argue that you failed to meet your responsibilities by not informing them of this each time you got an incorrect award notice. The way they work they will then say you have to repay the money even though they have failed in their responsibilities by not acting on your repeated statements in phone calls that she did not get Income Support. However, the important first step is to dispute, get the SARN CD & documents & see what they reveal. What you say about your income making it obvious she couldn't get Income Support is a valid point - they will probably ignore it & go on the ground that you failed in your responsibilities. Their rules are really one-sided; it almost seems they can muck up what they like but if they can find one thing where you haven't followed the letter of their rules then it is you who are blamed & carry the can.
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The Shy One
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector

United Kingdom
3 Posts

Posted - 23/04/2010 :  21:34:44  Show Profile Send The Shy One a Private Message
1. "she rang them on Apr 1, 2008 to tell them I was back on the claim and she was no longer receiving income support. This was fine and everything went back to normal. HMRC claim they don't have record of this as they didn't record all calls then."

Just to clarify the above your partner would not have been able to ring and put you back on the claim as this would have required her to end the single claim and ask for a new claim pack to be issued for the joint claim

You can not go from a single claim to a joint claim over the telephone, the only way to start a new joint claim (even if there has been one previously) is by completing a brand new claim form

What did you or your partner put on the new claim form with regard to income ?

If you are certain you did not say she was on income support ask to see a copy of the form you submitted

Hope this helps
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