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ajr3773
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector


United Kingdom
1 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2010 :  21:46:39  Show Profile Send ajr3773 a Private Message
Thankyou for allowing me on to this invaluable forum but im in a state of panick at the minute about how to proceed with the problem i am experiencing at present.

With that in mind i am seeking some very urgent advice from memebers of this forum over the next 72 hours.

Please bear with me and i will try to explain things as best i can from start to finish. (apologies for the length of this topic)

In September 2009 i accidentally stumbled across some self assesment statements from HMRC that demonstrated to me that i had been over declaring my income to the TCO since 2003. So much so it showed that i had over declared my income by as much as 6000 every year from 2003 to 2008. As a consequence of this i contacted the TCO office to advise of my mistake for each financial year and was told that they had legislation in place, to not reopen previous Tax Credits Awards more than 30 days after your annual declaration unless the errors had been caused by the TCO office and as the mistakes were actually my fault nothing further could be done.

Quite clearly refusing to accept this i contacted my local MP because as a result of my mistakes, i had, in actual fact been hit with 3 large overpayments for awards during this period for which i was being continually chased, to pay back when in actual fact had the correct income figures been use for each award period not only would i have had no overpayments but there was a large possibility that the TCO would in actual fact owe me approx 15,000 in underpayments.

Needless to say after 6 months of continual dialouge between my MP, the TCO MP Hotline and the Tax Credits Minister at the time, they kept reffering me back to their original decision, that due to a legal loophole in their legislation, the awards for each period would remain as they were and the overpayments would still stand.

In my opinion how could i contest goverment legislation so i just had to live with my mistake.

Then of course it came to renewing this year. (1 month after the dialouge with the MP etc....) and to my suprise i obtained my new award in July but was a bit deterred to find it had Provisional Award written all over the document. Thinking nothing more of it i didn't question it as i know during my renwal process i had advised them that i was now self employed and a number of friends advised me that this was normal procedure to get a provisional award, as being self employed meant i was unable to give them accurate income figures for the year.

Well how wrong was i!!!!!! On the 27th of October i received a letter from a Specialist Renewals Team dated the 27th of September giving me 1 month to supply them with approx 25 documents. Everything from Bank Statements to Rent Statements Etc.......

As i received the letter, on the day, all the information was due back, i phoned the caseworker who signed the letter and she advised me that they had information on their systems to say i was now living together with my partner as a couple, however she would give me a further month to send the information in. (I don't know if i was right or wrong to do so but i entered into dialouge on the phone to advise her that the information she held on her system was wrong)

So from my calculations that now meant i had to supply the information requested by the 27th of November. I actually sent everything off on the 22rd of November.

Anyhows with the weather the way it is at present i myself have only received 1 batch of mail since the 24th November (Which was the 1st of December) and in that batch of mail was a letter dated the 25th of November (2 days before all my information had to be in) written by the caseworker saying that despite her request for information dated the 27th of September, i had failed to comply and on the basis of the information they held on their system they would be doing the following unless they here from me prior to the 10/12/2010.

Childcare: I am alledged to have had no child care since before the 6th of April 2009 and with that in mind they will be terminatinating my childcare costs of 135.00 per week as of the 05/04/2009.

Employment: Their records indicate i left my last employment on the 28/09/08 and as they have no record of my self employment they will be terminating my Working tax credit as of the 28/09/08.

Relationship Status: They say they have information on their system to suggest i have been living together with my partner since the 03/12/2009, as a a consequence they will be terminating my single claim as of this date.

I of course got straight on the phone to the caseworker on Wednesday when i obtained this letter to be told she was not available today and could she phone me in the morning.

On Thursday morning at 8.35am the phone rang and it was the caseworker advising that she had received the information requested but as it had crossed over with the deadline date set out when i first spoke with her, her decision in the letter would still stand unless i could provide additional information to the contary before the 10th of December (1 week today) I said i could provide additional information but i also said that it looked like her decision was final as she had totally discounted the information supplied and the letter i had had written in support of why it is my partner uses my home address for some of her mail. (For instance my partner is my disabled sons carer and the carers allowance she recieves is paid at my home address and goes into a joint bank account we share, also registered at my address)

She then put me on hold for 2 minutes and came back to advise that as well as the other information i was intending to send in such as rent statements for my partners house, she would also like 12 months bank statements for a joint account i hold with my partner, that we use for our impending wedding as she had seen numerous amounts of online transfers. In addition she also requested mobile contract bills that i hold with Orange & T mobile and she questioned why it was i have 2 contract mobile phones.

At this point i asked how long did i have to gather and send in this additional information and i was advised that unless it was all received by the 10th of December she would refer to her original decsiion to terminate the current award on the 10th of December but actually terminate various elelments of the award on the dates set out earlier.

Now my concerns here are as follows:
The TCO look intent in ending my claim ASAP on the 10th of December despite the fact i am a single parent of 5 children, 1 of which is disabled and my tax credits award is large aspect of my income especially at this time of year.

They have requested further information, which i need to gather and obtain from 6 different sources and with the weather and the postal service the way things are at present, it is highly unlikely i am going to have all the information to hand if any by the 10th of December , let alone have it in their hands prior to this date to enable them to evaluate their investigation further as we are only getting mail once a week at the moment.

Im also concious that the whole country will effectivley go off on holiday on the 17th of December for Xmas and are they trying to push this termination of award through prior to the UK shutdown. ( Is there any legislation i can use with regards to getting extra time or can somebody advise if there is anyway i can get an extension on this date to gather and submit this inforamtion)

With the termination of my award imminent, it is very likely i am going to be hit with a huge overpayment. ( I would estimate over 20K plus) Do they by any chance factor in what i should of recieved during the same period they are looking to terminate. Can i contest the overpayment, can i apply for tax credits again and can i request what information they hold on their systems that enable them to come to their decision.

Im sorry if i have bored anyone to death but after a day on the phone i can't get anyone to help me out with this matter.

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missfroy2
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298 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2010 :  08:38:46  Show Profile Send missfroy2 a Private Message
Unfortunately, HMRC are right about not being able to go back and change your awards. You can only re-open if they have made a mistake to which you did not contribute. There are no 'mistake' provisions in the tax credit legislation.

On the issue of your claim. It sounds fairly serious and involves a large amount. You will have the right of appeal against HMRC@s decision to end your claim, but it could take a while to get it sorted.

I would suggest you get yourself some help either from CAB, a local welfare rights service, TaxAid or LITRG or similar as these things can be incredibly difficult.

The childcare one should be easy to resolve. Either you did have registered or approved childcare or you didn't. If you didn't, the overpayment will stand. If you did, this will be overturned on appeal.

The living together issue is the problem area. You are treated as a couple if you are 'living together as husband and wife' even if you are not married. There is no requirement that you live in the same household. There is no one test, they look at several factors to decide whether you are a couple. if you are then you need to be submitting a joint claim. This is the one you really need to take advice on.

The criteria used is in this chapter of their online manual: You must be logged in to see this link.

Specifically see: You must be logged in to see this link. and the pages that follow.

The criteria looked at includes:

household
dependent children
public acknowledgement
stability of relationship
financial situation

Hope that gives you a start. As I say, given the amount of money involved and the time that it may take to appeal, best get some help to see if someone can speak to the officer on your behalf and get teh decision reversed before it has to get to appeal.

MF2
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orhidee
Rank; Hector Tax Inspector



United Kingdom
4 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2010 :  13:14:49  Show Profile Send orhidee a Private Message
i am in a similar situation, but even after i gathered all the documents and send them over to them, they decided, i have a partener, they have stoped my single claim in october, and i will not hear anything from them untill march.try to stop getting to an appeal as this can take ages to resolve, and all it will happen meanwhile, will be more debts, to support your family.Contact again your local MP.i think the problem is with the partener.I have send all the relevant documents, to prove that my so called partener, does in fact not live with me for a long time, but i still have to wait for the appeal.I am deep in debts, i do not want to even think about this Christmas, I hope this will not be your situation aswell.get lots of advice, and try to send everything they ask for, before the deadtime.Send your letters by special delivery, it is guaranteed to get to them, next day 1pm, and good luck

p brudariu
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