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dillydally
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector


18 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2010 :  20:36:23  Show Profile Send dillydally a Private Message
I notice this site is campaigning for a tax credit overpayment amnesty. I'm wondering how it would work exactly.

Presumably, if all outstanding overpayments are written off, then anyone who has paid back an overpayment already would have a good legal case to ask to have that refunded. That would mean the Government having to find countless billions of pounds.

Also is it morally right for someone who has received money they are not entitled to to be allowed to keep it? If would be difficult, impossible even, to prove the difference between genuine fraud and genuine error. For example, someone forgot to report that their 18 year old son has gone to university, and receives an extra 500 child tax credits. Should HMRC let them keep it anyway? If so why should anyone bother to report a change in circumstance? I don't see how you can prove fraud, except in very obvious cases.

And also what for future overpayments? As long as tax credits exist there will always be overpayments - and the level of overpayments will go through the roof with the new timescale for reporting a change (down from 3 months to 1 month), and all hell will break loose when the income disregard is decreased from 25,000 to 2500 - overpayments will increase massively .

My "solution", for what it's not worth, is to firstly scrap tax credits. They are far, far, far too complicated and it is far too easy to get overpaid.

I think that everyone should have the right to dispute, or re-dispute an overpayment and if HMRC messed up if should be written off. But in my personal opinion a blanket amnesty would be impossible to administer (who is going to go through all the millions of overpayments trying to work out what is fraud and what is error?), would cost the country a fortune we can't afford, and would be morally unfair too on those who did receive the right amount.

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Alan the Geordie
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3032 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2010 :  00:40:24  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
<< My "solution", for what it's not worth, is to firstly scrap tax credits. They are far, far, far too complicated and it is far too easy to get overpaid. >>

I agree entirely with you on this!

<< I think that everyone should have the right to dispute, or re-dispute an overpayment and if HMRC messed up if should be written off. But in my personal opinion a blanket amnesty would be impossible to administer ... >>

I agree with you on this too.

I have always been of the opinion that the amnesty should be for those who have been landed with an overpayment through no fault of their own i.e. where they have jumped through all the hoops presented to them and HMRC have bungled their job and caused the overpayment.

I've thought from Day One that "amnesty" is the wrong word to use - and so did some other founder members - but we were unable to agree on what it should be called, so we were stuck with it.

If a claimant has made a mistake in filling-in the overly complicated paperwork, then that should be a seperate issue.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very valuable contributions to this forum.

"The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions.

In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed."

Adolf Hitler
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