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To find tax credits unfair? Anxiety though the roof with them

(24 Posts)
MidwifeyForLifey Sat 09-Mar-19 13:39:25

In a nutshell, I'm being investigated because it's come to someone's attention that the amount they have been paying may have been far too high, and to top it all off, she said it looks like I may not even have been entitled in the first place.

Just to clarify, this is all above board. No wrong doings on my part etc etc.

I feel sick to my stomach. They wanted about 30 different pieces of info (no exaggeration), and I'm worrying about the overpayments. It's being investigated thoroughly now.

I'm so sick of worrying ever time a letter comes through the door. I'm not usually such an anxious person.

I've received in total about 4.5K from them. How much do you think they'd get me paying back a month?

I simply couldn't afford to pay that outright (laughs hysterically).

If you've ever been overpaid and had to pay things back, what monthly instalment did they agree to?

MidwifeyForLifey Sat 09-Mar-19 13:40:31

Apologies for all those typos, including the title blush

Overtiredbackagain Sat 09-Mar-19 13:50:30

I had a £6,000 overpayment, apparently I wasn't entitled to claim, even though my youngest is high rate mobility and care and I paid childcare for two of my three DC 🤔

They deemed I earned too much, even though all my figures were correct and they set the tax credits I received.

I had to complete a budget and now paying £100 a month back for next 5 years.

I honestly wished I never claimed at all but only did because I found myself a single parent and needed help with childcare so I could work and received no maintenance from ex.

Hope you manage to get it sorted.


Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 09-Mar-19 13:50:37

I'm not going to tell you not to worry. You're bound to. However you wont be made to pay £4k out right.
They. Cant get blood out of a stone and They cannot put you into poverty. They must agree to a reasonable and affordable amount for you to pay back. If it is an over payment you're not the first and you certainly won't be the last.
You _may_ not have to pay it back if it can be proved it was their error.

Iooselipssinkships Sat 09-Mar-19 13:52:05

I pay back £10 a month for £1500 overpayment

MidwifeyForLifey Sat 09-Mar-19 14:02:20

Overtired It certainly sounds as if you'd be entitled, especially with childcare for 2 DC and a child with disability... That usually entitles you to the premium rate.

Sorry you're having to pay back such a large sum. £6k is outrageous, and £100 a month is a lot of money.

Aww Thank you. I feel like they'll try!

loose That seems very reasonable although I don't think you should be the one paying anything back at all

Kolo Sat 09-Mar-19 14:36:13

I don’t really understand them, and I was very suspicious when I was awarded them over a period of 3 years or so, coinciding with 2 periods of maternity leave. I thought I was still earning too much to be eligible, with my work maternity pay. But they insisted that I was due some. I called in each time my income changed, as I went onto SMP, or unpaid and eventually back to work.

After being back at work for some time, I was contacted by tax credits people to tell me it had all been a big mistake and I needed to pay it all back. I did appeal this, because I felt I’d been completely correct in outlining my financial position, numerous times, and the error was completely theirs. But I still had to pay it back. They were very generous with the repayment terms. Think I paid about £40 a month. I was back at work by this point so could have paid more, but they were the ones suggesting a low repayment, interest free, so I just accepted it.

furrybadger Sat 09-Mar-19 14:39:15

my partner recieved it, he rang to say he didnt think he was elegible again when it came to renewing it, they said he was and carried on paying him, then got a letter like yourself saying he owed 2k in over payments, went to debt collection on behalf of hmrc and he now pays £30 a month to pay it off, i was furious as he even rang querying saying he didnt think he should be getting it ! hmm

americandream Sat 09-Mar-19 15:18:03


You have my sympathy, but you are not alone; 10s of 1000s of people have been stung badly by tax credits fuckups. If any normal everyday people in a normal regular job fucked up as spectacularly as they do, they would be sacked.

Me and DH started claiming tax credits around 2010, and by 2014, we somehow ended up owing 3 grand. Never knew why, and they never explained it. (Also, I am pretty sure we never even had that much given to us over those 4 years anyway, so we were very confused!)

They took it from our tax credit award (£100 a month or out of our award.)

2 years later, (mid 2016,) we had paid off over 2 grand, and we stopped being entitled to any more tax credits, as our earnings had gone up quite a bit. We still owed about £500-£600, and they threatened us with legal action/court/debt collectors if we didn't pay up/make an agreement to pay a certain amount monthly!

Like a few others here, we set up a monthly payment plan, but were threatened by debt collectors several times, even though we were paying!

Tax credits are evil. They should never have existed. People should have better pay, and should not need to claim them.

Interesting thread on here from about a year and a half ago, that shows you are not alone.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 09-Mar-19 15:24:39

People should have better pay and not need to claim them.

That's the bottom line. Nail 110% hit on the head. If Employers were forced to pay a fair days wage for a fair days work. There would be zero need for Tax credits

americandream Sat 09-Mar-19 15:30:46

Nail 110% hit on the head. If Employers were forced to pay a fair days wage for a fair days work. There would be zero need for Tax credits.

True babyspider true. smile

tablelegs Sat 09-Mar-19 18:11:16

I had to pay back £5500. They were aware of the change of circumstances.

We don't claim anymore and paid the amount back over a couple of years.

We had to pay child benefit back the year after so we don't claim anything at all.

americandream Sat 09-Mar-19 21:44:01

@tablelegs that is awful! £5500?! Sadly not that uncommon!

3boysandabump Sat 09-Mar-19 21:48:07

I'm entitled to a very small amount but I've stopped claiming it altogether after them overpaying me all the time and me always owing money back.

I pay £100 a month until 2021. They wanted more and I had to go through an income/outgoings thing over the phone to prove that I just don't have any more to give.

tablelegs Sat 09-Mar-19 21:48:09

We wrongly assumed they would reassess us (they told us on the phone they would) but they didn't so it carried on.

americandream Sat 09-Mar-19 21:50:51

I know a few people who just cancelled their claim, and said 'NO, no more!' As @3boysandabump said, no matter what, whenever we claimed and got an 'award,' we always ended up being overpaid (somehow!) and owing them money. Every. Single. Time. And I know SO many people who tell the same dire tale!

Sorry to hear about your story(s) too guys. flowers

FuckItFriday Sat 09-Mar-19 21:53:02

I am paying back £1700 at £35 a month. I still can't make head nor tail of how we ended up so overpaid. I was soon the phone all the time. I think maternity pay muddled it up.

Who knows. I asked for a proper break down several times but never got it.

americandream Sat 09-Mar-19 22:07:34

I am so sorry to hear that @fuckitfriday sad

Like I said earlier in the thread (along with many others!) there never seemed to be a proper explanation for the money owed back to them!

RandomMess Sat 09-Mar-19 22:08:38

We owe because my earnings increased but they wouldn't take it into account until the new tax year confused we are paying back £10 per month.

At least I knew I was being overpaid so used it to overpay mommy mortgage!

americandream Sat 09-Mar-19 22:40:24

@RandomMess It is stupid isn't it, how they do it?! They ask for your income for the previous bloody tax year (you AND your partner if you have one.) And they base the coming year's award on the PREVIOUS year's income! confused

MOST people are going to earn more the following year, with pay rise(s) and overtime etc. So almost everyone ends up owing, but it's rarely a few hundred! Virtually everyone I have spoken to about it, seems to often end up owing the low to mid 4 figures, and they swear down they couldn't have been/haven't been paid that much extra.

And with every fibre of their being, and no matter how intelligent they are, they cannot figure out why the over-payment was as high as it was. And as has been said (by me and some others,) the tax credits department never explain it properly.

A friend of mine ended up (somehow!) with a £7,000 overpayment, and they took the instalments towards the overpayment out of her award by reducing it from £355 a month to just over £150. A huge drop. This went on for 2 years til her youngest child went to uni, and she was entitled to nothing then, and still owed £3,000. She had to set up a payment plan too, and again, like many others, she kept getting debt collection agency letters.

She almost had a breakdown with the stress of it all.

As I said, tax credits are evil, and I don't know a SINGLE person who has had tax credits for a few years, and has not had to pay a load of money back.

RandomMess Sat 09-Mar-19 23:38:35

TBF I had had them for 11 years at this point (some years with a nil claim) and I went from part to full time the same year as the eldest left home. They disregard the first £2k of an increase an income.

I always checked my claims with a fine tooth comb and understood the paperwork but that kind of anal thing is not something 95% of the population want or can do because it's so complex.

MyDcAreMarvel Sat 09-Mar-19 23:44:11

Op those letters demanding everything except a vial of blood are random and standard. It doesn’t mean they think you have been overpayed..

MyDcAreMarvel Sat 09-Mar-19 23:45:10

@MidwifeyForLifey so try not to worry.

MidwifeyForLifey Sun 10-Mar-19 13:10:29

My Not true in my case. They think they probably have overpaid me apparently, and are saying it's looking like I shouldn't have ever been rewarded them in the first place sad

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