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To think that the Tax Credits application system could be clearer?

(10 Posts)
Twittwooo Fri 24-May-13 12:20:26

I was on maternity leave for most of the tax year 2012 / 2013. After checking the online calculator, it seemed we weren't entitled to tax credits because the calculation was based on my previous year's salary so common sense prevailed (I thought) and we decided that if we apply in a year's time (around now) the claim will be based on my maternity year salary and we would qualify. So, we have just claimed, and we have been awarded some money BUT because my salary has gone up considerably again this year (now I am back to work), it seems this is taken into account and we are back to square one - not entitled. I had phoned to inform them of my current salary situation as there is nothing on the form about this. The person on the phone simply said we had 'missed the boat'. It turns out that if we had applied when our baby was born we could have been receiving monthly payments, but there was no mention of this online when we checked our eligibility. I think, had we applied last year based on the previous years income but then told them my income was actually going to be less due to maternity leave we would have been okay. Has anyone else experienced this? It's really annoying, but I'm guessing there's not much we can do now. We're not used to applying for benefits so maybe we're just a bit clueless, but the extra last year while living on maternity pay would have been very helpful. Would love to hear if anyone else has managed to find away around this situation!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 24-May-13 12:22:43

You can't get around it. Its the way they do it, that's why they allow you to report an income change

Twittwooo Fri 24-May-13 12:25:46

Thanks, how annoying! I wish they would make it clear when using the online calculator that this is how the system works. So many people must miss out this way, either that or we're the only stupid ones!!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 24-May-13 12:27:42

I would never advise anyone use the online calc it does not take everything into account so often gets it wrong.

NotYoMomma Fri 24-May-13 12:36:05

I am in EXACTLY the same boat

Rockchick1984 Fri 24-May-13 12:43:00

On the online calculator it asks for your income for the previous year, then there's a tick box to say if your income will be significantly higher or lower in the current tax year. It's always better to apply and be refused than to simply not apply!

IShallWearMidnight Fri 24-May-13 12:43:32

we're in the position of paying back what they debt management team say is an overpayment for a previous year, while waiting for the tax credits people to reassess that year's claim, which will mean they owe us three times what we're having to repay. But it will take up to 16 weeks to reassess, despite the fact they have tax return information sitting in front of them. Sigh.

It's not as bad as Student Finance though - we had to explain to the helpline people how to process that application shock.

Twittwooo Fri 24-May-13 12:51:35

Sorry to hear that NotYoMomma, it's rubbish. I guess we probably have been a bit naive, we should have applied anyway, but didn't realise the online calculator wasn't accurate and I don't remember the tick box. I'll know for next time!

NotYoMomma Fri 24-May-13 13:49:15

I'm pregnant now and shall be sorting it asap lol

Twittwooo Fri 24-May-13 14:03:18

Oh, that's good NotYoMomma. So you've not missed out. Yes, apply when the baby comes and then phone them with your salary for 2013/2014 when you get your award letter and they should amend your claim. Good luck!

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