Advanced search

Tax credits system so complex that it is abused by fraudsters, misunderstood by claimants and mismanaged by officials

(54 Posts)
onceinalifetime Mon 14-Jul-08 18:43:28

Apparently. How can they pay £1.5bn of tax credits out in error and I'm still not entitled to anything? Colleague of mine on similar salary/situation but only one child, not two, has just had hers bumped from £100 per week to £250 per week for no apparent reason! I don't get it.

mummypud Mon 14-Jul-08 18:50:31

there is a site where you can see what benifits you are intiltled to .. cant think of the name though? i agree the wjhole systems tinks , my hub and his work mate exact same wage family situation etc and we get different to them! cant suss it out , to scared to question it incase they take it all off us [and its not much] or make us pay some back

onceinalifetime Mon 14-Jul-08 19:16:13

I can have something like £1.10 a month. Mystified as to how colleague gets so much more but obv can't ask exact details of her financial position. Similar salary and childcare costs and I know my mortgage is much higher.

boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 19:23:06

It depends on your dp/dh's income aswell. Is taken as whol ehousehold rather than individual. Mortgage or any other costs apart from childcare are not taken into consideration when making the calculations either
Is impossible unless you're really close to a person to know their finanial situation, so might seem like it's unfair or strange that your awards differ but probably a reason for it.


boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 19:24:47

Meant to say on subject of article. A lot of what is lost on Tax credits is down to proffesional fraudsters. They know the system alost better than we do, and stoop to unbelievable levels to claim fraudulently.

laidbackinengland Mon 14-Jul-08 19:26:07

It's also based on your last years income so might bear no resemblance to what is happenind now IYSWIM. can give you a rough idea of what you should be getting.

Fadge Mon 14-Jul-08 19:31:01

Huge amounts are scammed from them for Childcare Element. Rarely is a check made on anything with the childcare provider - you could tell them whatever the hell you like basically. It stinks.

boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 19:34:14

Is near on impossible for everything to be checked though. Not sure on def figures but most of the country is eligible and claiming tax credits. Would take months and months if not longer and a hell of a lot of money to get a claim through if we had to check every one. Is hard to know what the solution is really.

tatty33 Mon 14-Jul-08 19:37:54

I hate all the mixed messages about child tax credits, there's always sweeping statements in the press about claiming back 80% of childcare costs when working ,yet when you look into it, it doesn't seem to apply when you there's 2 of you earning.

I know its not true now but everytime I read it it gets my hopes up and then I remember it doesn't apply and nearly all my wages are going into chilcare costs..

boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 19:43:36

Lots of people get confused about the childcare element of tax credits. It is up to 80% depending upon your household income.
We calculate the max you're entitled to, incl 80% of childcare and then it's all tapered down by 39% of your income. So more often than not if you have a joint income household your award will be tapered down enough that you don't receve much towards your childcare.

onceinalifetime Mon 14-Jul-08 19:45:11

That's what I feel - keep getting told 4 out of 5 families are entitled, etc and should get all this help with childcare costs. As mine are £880 a month, it would really help but everytime I go to check, it's a pathetic amount like £1.10 a month so doesn't seem worth it. I'll try again.

Mind you, if 4 out of 5 families are entitled, doesn't this mean there's something fundamentally wrong with the tax system as a whole? hmm

boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 19:50:05

A lot of failies are entitled to the most basic level of TC, is currently £545 per year.

wrinklytum Mon 14-Jul-08 19:52:17

I am truly mystified by Tax credits.I duly ring and inform them of every change in our circumstances (I had to stop work for a year due to dp and dd being incapacitated) and they have sent me yet another form (The paper wastage must be enormous,would love to know TC office carbon footprint.)Now THEY HAVE SENT A FORM BACK SAYING i WORK 16 HOURS!!!i JUST TOLD THEM I had stopped.
Additionally they have taxed dps benefits???Surely you canot tax benefits if you are on incapacity benefit and DLA???Am totally miffed and mystified!!

boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 19:55:54

Incapacity is a taxable benefit, DLA isn't though and shouldn't be taken into account for tax credits.
Was the form saying you were working your renewal? and were you working at any point during the last tax year. It may be that its referring to that?

wrinklytum Mon 14-Jul-08 20:03:01

Ah,maybe thats it!!Does the award go on your last years work?If so the tc for this year are based on last tax years income?That makes more sense!!Sorry am a bit dense on these things!!I didn't realise benefits were taxable.All is clearer now,thanks.

dilemma456 Mon 14-Jul-08 20:10:45

Message withdrawn

boredveryverybored Mon 14-Jul-08 20:13:54

Yeah your award is based on your previous years earnings double check that they dont have you down as currently working though incase a mistake has been made.

Fadge Mon 14-Jul-08 20:15:56

I wouldn't claim it again with a bargepole even if I wer entitled to at some point in future!
sorry! So many fuck ups it's untrue, and still having problems with them over something which was their fault, but of course where there are overpayments, there's that loophole they have isn't there - putting the onus on you. FFS if THEY don't understand it with all their training, how the fuck they expect Joe Bloggs to spot a wee mistake I don't know angry

A system that looks so good on paper is in practise a dud.

mimismummy Tue 15-Jul-08 06:44:56

I totally agree that tax credits are such a pain!!My circumstances change regularly so I have to phone them a lot. Everytime both my husband and I get about three letters each outlining our new entitlement - what a lot of waste. And we're only entitled to the basic child tax credit anyway. Paranoid that we'll be overpaid, which would be awful as we're struggling as it is, but what can you do? Surely there's a better way.

Hogiabach Tue 15-Jul-08 06:57:57

I tried to claim when DS2 was born - hadn't been receiving any tax credits since I'd gone back to work 2 years prior. Was accused on the phone of using someone else's NI number - then got loads of documentation with My DH and DC's details with this other fella's name next to my NI number shock. Rang them up same scenario accused of using someone else NI number. Cheque came through for trust fund again in this other guy's name!!!! took ages to convince them of their error. very angry. Then once all sorted got demanding letters of payments that I owed shock and tax self assessment office was sending me demands too....all very stressful and so not worth the hassle!

Wilkiepedia Tue 15-Jul-08 07:06:08

We've just been awarded £4k for this year. DH and I are totally mystified as we earn good money and have rung them 3 times to ensure it IS correct. Apparently it is so we are using the money for a new kitchen! blush

Mind you - we pay enough in taxes so why SHOULDN'T we take it I suppose? Not like our government to GIVE something back really.

Hogiabach Tue 15-Jul-08 07:24:56

Wilkiepedia _ don't spend it! they'll come after you and make your life hell! A friend had similar experience and now they're after her for the money....she's been so stressed. If you think it's too good to be true i.e you're not entitled to it then chances are you're not... you know your own financial situation better than anyone.

MrsBumblebee Tue 15-Jul-08 08:12:22

It is based on last year's income, but you can provide them with an estimate of this year's income if you think it will be very different. Agree it's quite a pain trying to tell them anything, though.

Also, don't forget it takes other income such as share dividends and interest from savings into account, so even if you have a similar salaried income to someone else you know, your overall income could still be very different.

spicemonster Tue 15-Jul-08 08:21:48

I got a totally paltry amount then nothing, then suddenly £700. If this money was to be any use at all, it needs to be sent out like CB - monthly and a regular amount. Random sums are no help really, particularly when they're unexpected. I have had nothing in writing to say why they've given me this money so am going to stick it in a savings account as I'm convinced they've made a mistake

doodleboo Tue 15-Jul-08 08:50:14

Just wanted to say that the system may be nowhere near perfect but at least it is trying to help a lot of poorer families and we are one who would not be able to pay for our house or food without them - it is just enough to keep us going.

Would you rather they weren't there at all (like under certain the tories)?

It is not the system's fault there are fraudsters, and yes they should try to tackle them, but not at the expense of delaying claims for families who need the money for food and mortgage payments.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: