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AIBU to hate tax credits with a passion (need to rant!)

(22 Posts)
jelliemint Mon 17-Aug-15 14:35:59

I have just spent a large chunk of my day on the phone to the tax credits office to appeal a massive and unexpected overpayment request that I honestly believe they have got wrong. I have spoken to a variety of staff who all seem to have no clue what they are talking about and are unable to answer any of my questions.
Why do I have to deal with these people? I work very hard at a job that I spent a long time studying and training for and that carries a good deal of responsibility. Shouldn't I be paid enough money to support my family without relying on sodding benefits and deal with the tax credit numpties!!!!!!!
Apologies - rant over!

Purplepoodle Mon 17-Aug-15 14:39:24

there's an appeal form you can fill in and send evidence with it - had to do this with tax credits earlier this year. Huge hassle and no tax credits for 2 months sad, managed to borrow in credit cards to pay dc nursery bills

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Mon 17-Aug-15 14:41:15

They can be pretty useless!
One year, I was on the phone for 3 3/4 hours, trying to explain that I hadn't changed jobs. No, I didn't have two jobs. The company I worked for had simply changed their name.
That was my birthday too!

Another year, I had an underpayment of £2000(ish) AND and overpayment of £150(ish).

Complicated enough, but they couldn't take the overpayment out of the underpayment.

Purplepoodle Mon 17-Aug-15 14:42:54

mandatory reconsideration - you have to have it in to them by 30 days from the decision. I sent mine recorded delivery and had to go to differerent address. don't get me started on the phone numbers they give you for people dealing with these problems - they don't have answer phones and some only work pt so you can spend days ringing

jelliemint Mon 17-Aug-15 14:45:40

I feel like today was far more stressful than my actual job! Also annoyed that I work hard and budget carefully to live within my means and then some random pen pusher comes along and completely undermines me. I'm normally much calmer than this but today I am.... grrrr!

thecatsarecrazy Mon 17-Aug-15 15:04:08

We updated ours recently when I started a new job, pt not much money. Heard no more from them thought we were up to date. Last week got no tax credits sad. Phoned them and they said yes because you didn't update when you got your pack, we had no pack. Waiting for one now.

Penfold007 Mon 17-Aug-15 15:06:09

As suggested go for a mandatory reconsideration. I'm a professional welfare advisor and I hate tax credits on so many levels. Overpayments and mistakes are a nightmare, I also feel they allow some employers to avoid paying a living wage - the tax payer is subsidising their business.

AYearofMinorMiracles Mon 17-Aug-15 15:10:32

I feel your pain - it took me 10 hours to get through to a human being when I went back to work but just imagine working there yourself. Doesn't bear thinking about - they are working in a system designed not to function well. Bit like Talktalk IMO.

Persevere - had a similar problem with Income Support who wanted to fine me for their mistake angry but because you are well educated and articulate, you will get it sorted.

NewLife4Me Mon 17-Aug-15 15:15:04

thecats

We had this, they stopped the account and promised a pack which we still didn't receive.
We got a letter from a debt collection agency who hounded us day and night to pay back all the amount we had received from the current award.
It took them from August last year until January to finally reinstate the claim and pay us what they owed us.
We still have received nothing official to tell us that the debt collectors aren't chasing us anymore.

Babyroobs Mon 17-Aug-15 15:15:39

I think tax credits will gone altogether in the next few years. They have always been incompetent and complex for people to understand. It must cost the government an absolute fortune to administer.

Pseudonym99 Mon 17-Aug-15 15:24:26

I was glad when they reduced the amount you earned to be entitled to them. It meant we could withdraw our claim as we earnt too much . Was so much easier. They don't even tell you how its worked out, so you cannot tell if they are paying you correctly or not.

mrsleomcgary Mon 17-Aug-15 15:30:37

I applied when DD started going to a childminder and can honestly say I wish I hadnt bothered my arse. They entered my monthly childcare cost as my weekly cost (I copied the form so know it was their mistake) resulting in a massive overpayment. I realised as soon as I read the reward notice and spent 2 hrs on the phone trying to find out how to fix it. I set the money aside in my savings account so it wouldnt be spent so when I finally got my repayment demand through 5months later I could pay it straight away but if I hadnt realised when I did theres no way I could have paid it back. I'm now not entitled to anything.

Now i've recieved a payrise so need to phone them to tell them,then in october my husbands contract will change reducing him down to 30hrs a week from 3x,so will need to phone to tell them. And i'm having a baby in january so will need to tell them that as well. And I still probably wont get any bloody money!

Babyroobs Mon 17-Aug-15 15:34:59

Tax credits are all being hugely slashed in April 2016 anyway. I imagine there will be some people who have big overpayments from 2015-16 who will find they sudenly are entitled to nothing and having to make payments back. When this happened to us many years ago, I was suddenly sent a demand for almost £900 to be paid within 2 weeks ! fortunately I managed t negotiate paying it over a couple of years in the end.

shebird Mon 17-Aug-15 16:09:10

The whole system is a nightmare. It's is almost a full time job trying to ensure they have correct and up to date information and even when you do this they still get it wrong. I'm not even going to go there with the amount of notices and paper they send where everything contradicts what went before. There is no way of telling if what you are getting is 100% accurate and even if what you have told them is correct there is always say there's an over or underpayment at the next review. I am thankful not to have to do this anymore and really sypathise with those who have to deal with this.

RedDaisyRed Mon 17-Aug-15 16:27:31

Hopefuly if we get 10 years of Tory rule we can abolish them entirely.

youareallbonkers Mon 17-Aug-15 16:32:57

You don't hate them enough not to pocket all that free money though, odd that. Don't blame others if you don't earn enough, no one else can do anything but you to rectify that

meglet Mon 17-Aug-15 16:35:47

no one is 'pocketing' tax credits money. It's going on food, housing, energy, clothes, childcare, travel and living costs.

NewLife4Me Mon 17-Aug-15 16:36:48

Red

How are the government going to top up wages then? Or do you expect people to starve? The tiny amount of mw increase won't provide a living wage for a hamster let alone a family.
But I suppose if they spin enough "Living wage" through the media the less intelligent will believe it.

donotfeelsecure Mon 17-Aug-15 16:42:52

Don't blame others if you don't earn enough, no one else can do anything but you to rectify that

If the OP already works full time, how is she supposed to "rectify that" angry

simplesusan Mon 17-Aug-15 16:44:59

Couldn't agree more.

I had so many conflicting letters stating they would pay various amounts that I didn't have a clue as to the correct amount.
They then c,aimed that they had overpaid me and I had to repay x amount.

I asked them to deduct this amount from what they would pay me. They refused and so ( because it was their error) I pay back the overpayment monthly.
It makes it look as though my household income is more than it actually is now and remarkedly I fall just over the threshold for being eligible for certain other things, how convenient.

I too wish that wages reflected a living wage to avoid all this hassle.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 17-Aug-15 16:45:04

I can sympathise. We once had no tax credits at all for 8 months because, apparently, my claim just "fell off the system" hmm.

This was 10 or more years ago now, and I had to actually go to see HMRC/Inland Revenue in person to sort it out. The woman there was so bewildered and apologetic about what had happened she provided me with a manual cheque for £900 there and then!

She got it sorted - a couple of weeks later the remaining £3000 arrived!

jelliemint Mon 17-Aug-15 17:17:07

It's awful that so many people seem to have had similar problems! I will be appealing against their decision but feel quite daunted as their calculations become very complicated when you tell them about a few changes.

Youareallbonkers - I stupidly assumed while I was studying and investing time and energy in establishing a sensible career that this was the right way to go about securing an income which covers basic living expenses without relying on government top ups. Perhaps you would like to enlighten me about where I went wrong? Perhaps you would like me to stop eating and paying the bills so that I manage without said top up?

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