Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Anyone won a tax credits overpayment dispute?

(29 Posts)
Shakey1500 Tue 10-Jul-12 10:09:22

Great start to the week sad

According to tax credits, we were overpaid by £3k last year. And we're not entitled to tax credits this year. This means they can request a lump sum payment. I haven't spoken to the overpayment team yet.

I'm in the process of trawling through our bank statements. My gripe is, that I informed them of EVERY change in our circumstances last year. I had my working hours reduced, DH got a higher paid job. I gave them his basic salary. It rose from around 15k to 21k. I explained that there may be overtime but we would not know till the year end. However, our tax credits amount didn't change from when he was on 15k despite me telling them he would now be earning 21k.

So, I'm going to start a dispute. Has anyone been successful? Any tips? I accept that there would be an overpayment because of the overtime, but not 3k's worth!


violathing Tue 10-Jul-12 12:28:33

I though that there was an income disregard Of £10000.00, so you are within that limit if your income has only gone up by £6000.00.?

MissKeithLemon Tue 10-Jul-12 12:36:32

There is definitely an income disregard for an increase up to £10k for 2011-2012 Shakey. This applies as long as changes have been reported, so you should not have an overpayment at all hmm I'd give them a call and ask them to explain to you why it is an overpayment tbh incompetent muppets

DaisySteiner Tue 10-Jul-12 17:25:17

The income disregard only applies if your award has been based on a previous year's income. So for example if you're income was 15K in 2010-11, you could earn up to 25K in 2011-12 without it affecting your award. If however your award for 2011-12 was the first time you claimed or if you has asked for an in-year assessment because your income had decreased compared with the previous year then your final award would be based on your entire income for 2011-12 rather than on 2010-11's income.

OP, it's worth speaking to the CAB as they are often experienced and knowledgeable in tax credit appeals. I'm afraid you telling them that your income might increase due to overtime which you wouldn't know about will not hold any water as they will argue that you should have estimated what the overtime payment would be.

To win an appeal you need to show that they paid you the money in error (ie you should never have received it) AND that you could have reasonably expected that the money you received was correct. Even if they paid you money that they shouldn't have done after you told them that your income had increased they could potentially argue that you should have realised that your payments should have gone down. Also check that all the income details they put down on your forms last year and this year are correct.

Not sure how helpful this has been but hope you can sort something out. Even if you don't win an appeal you should argue that you can't afford to pay it all in one go.

mummyof3kids Tue 10-Jul-12 22:29:51

I was in a similar position some years back. I still have to pay the overpayment, but I pay at an amount I can afford (currently £7.50 per month). It will take years to repay, but as no interest is charged I am in no hurry to settle the overpayment sooner. They said that I had failed to inform them of my circumstances, and unfortunately as I had moved twice in the period I was unable to provide evidence.....

elizadolittle Tue 10-Jul-12 22:36:38

I haven't got an answer to this, apart from, how on earth can you be overpaid if you don't know what you should be getting in the first place?! I have four children, when my son left school, I rang the tax credits people to tell them. I can't remember the amount I was getting, but say it was 200.00per month, they told me it would be reduced to 120.00, I asked how they had worked this out because if my children were leaving school in consecutive years on this calculation I would end up giving them money, the reply was "the computer works it out, we don't know!!!"

Rubirosa Tue 10-Jul-12 22:39:27

Put in a request for all their tape recordings and notes of your calls so you can check exactly what you told them when.

TheDetective Tue 10-Jul-12 22:41:50

I was 'overpaid' every year I claimed. I owe a few thousand. Dates back from 2004. Never paid a penny back. Don't intend to. Never rang them when I got the letters, and never heard another thing apart from the initial letters. It may have helped that none of them were continuous claims as they were joint then single, joint then single claims over a few years.

Not affected my credit record at all.

Dunno why they never chased them. Don't claim any more.

Just sayin' <whistles>

workshy Tue 10-Jul-12 22:45:24

I won an appeal

they convieniently missed my DPs salary off the calculation hmm

I had the forms they had sent me when I rang up with the info, and both salaries were listed
I had also rung up to check it was correct as it seemed high and was told on the phone 'if the info on the letter we sent you is correct then the money is yours'
they listened to the phone call and I got to keep the money

I hate tax credits and the sooner I can earn enough that I don't need to claim them the better

they had underpaid me by £1100 this year, I querried it and have struggled every month -their response was 'well if it is wrong it will be a nice little surprise in the summer' wtaf? I've been using my credit card all year waiting for my 'nice little surprise!'

Shakey1500 Tue 10-Jul-12 23:19:24

Thank you all for your replies. I will request the taped phone calls as I'm adamant I relayed DH's new salary. I've got the amendment form they sent but it doesn't state DH's salary increase, just the salary they hold for 2010/2011 which the award is based on. Doesn't make sense. I am happy to pay the excess on the overtime.

I'm really annoyed though as every time I rang to make a change, I specifically asked if the amounts were right, as I didn't want to be in an overpayment situation.

The forms are ridiculously reader UNfriendly and in todays, technological world, it beggars belief that they can't get it right!

Thanks again

TheNewson Wed 11-Jul-12 10:19:51

Hi - yes I won an overpayment involving three thousand pounds, like you. It was protacted, complex, messy and drove me mad but, we did it! It was worth it for my sanity.

I found a website called Tax Credit Casualties and followed their advice. It has lots of examples, sample letters etc.

It involved collecting all the data they had on me, every phone call and piece of paper
Creating a summary of all the events, in chronological order (this was about a five page dossier. Luckily I had kept a lot of my notes/paperwork)
Contacting my MP and getting him to pick up the case
Keeping on top of it

Mine was, in part, centred on a specific fault and I knew when it had taken place (during a phone call). Once I had that phonecall and could prove they had made a massive mistake. (There were other factors too) but my case was proven.

If you know you are in the right, this can be done. Just need persistance over resistance in my experience.

Good luck and please do check out the webiste. It literally saved us. Like you, our payments stopped and we had a debt. It was extremely stressful.

Shakey1500 Wed 11-Jul-12 12:14:37

Thanks TheNewson that's given me some hope! Do you mind me asking what the specific mistake was? I'm sure I gave my DH's new salary over the phone but it doesn't appear on any paperwork (except the final descision one just received). But I don't have a record of when I made the phone call or who i spoke to, will that let me down or do they keep all records? is it a case of me saying "prove I didn't" kind of thing? I know I would have made the phone call in the 30days of the change. In fact I made a couple of calls as I didn't have DH's payroll number straight away.

I'm prepared for a fight (I'm like a dog chewing a bone if I think there's been a mistake smile ) so phone calls/letters/email and persistance doesn't faze me.

Can I ask how long it took you as well? Thank you so much and thanks for the website advice, off there now.

Shakey1500 Tue 20-Jan-15 20:27:09

<whispers> I won grin

Reviving an old thread of mine but who cares? <glugs wine>

isitsnowingyet Tue 27-Jan-15 09:54:01

Flippin' heck - it took 3 years?? flowers

We were sent a bill for £1300 just before xmas from child tax credit people and I had washed my hands of them 3 years ago as we kept having so many probs like those listed on this thread. This time it came with threat of debt collector and bailiffs. I didn't have a clear picture of why this 'overpayment' had existed in the first place, so felt we couldn't contest it. Am currently paying off £25 a month.

Well done for having the persistence to get the b****


meglet Tue 27-Jan-15 09:55:28

well done!

Damnautocorrect Tue 27-Jan-15 10:08:29

well done you.
I buckled in appealing mine as the woman was horrid and made me cry. Well done you

Shakey1500 Thu 29-Jan-15 20:43:42

Thanks thanks

It was a long hard slog to be sure.

Damnautocorrect Sorry you had a hard time sad

northernstar77 Tue 10-Mar-15 11:02:25

I was just wondering Shakey1500, how did you do this? Currently been disputing something similar for about 9 months. I'm sure there's a letter in the post, but from the way the guy on the phone described it's still not the correct answer we need. Looking at sites online, I should've appealed and not disputed, or is there no difference?

lauren132 Sun 12-Jul-15 12:52:58

Ive been self employed for two yrs after being on incapacity benefit following breakdown after husband died thru medical negligence..Although income only around 5k this yr,my profits are reasonable.Felt a sense of achievement..but now they are checking my records business for 14-15.Havent heard anything in 5wks and my depressions back.Just feel like giving up.I dont have money for over payments if any..Any one had anything similiar?

mollyonthemove Wed 29-Jul-15 14:00:07

Right in the middle of this utter bollocks angry. We are supposed to owe £5000 from a year I spent 6 months unemployed and on JSA. We didn't receive the 'overpayment' letters in time to go to appeal (went to wrong address) and so we are being dragged to a tribunal in September to decide if we can appeal. Even if they let us appeal, it's still going to drag on - I am heartened to hear some people do actually win but it is so infuriating. We have all the evidence, told them everything and yet they seem incapable of explaining in simple words where on earth the figure has come from. I am really getting distressed sad DH has said he will go to jail rather than pay sad Cannot see how to get through it.

Constantlyamazed Tue 04-Aug-15 22:21:41

I don't get the point of tax credits, why not just tax less in the first place, it would save all the complication and save the huge cost to tax payers of administering them!

ashtrayheart Tue 04-Aug-15 22:31:20

I was overpaid (hadn't realised) and years later they decided to amend my tax code to reclaim the money. The funny thing was that I ended up with higher tax credits the following year as my salary had in effect been reduced by paying back the overpayment grin

Shakey15000 Sun 08-Nov-15 22:51:06

Sorry, I lost this thread and NC after Jeffergate.

So if anyone's still reading....

northern my mind is fuzzy regarding appealing/disputing but neither is clear on any website. Where are you up to now? I'm pretty sure they told me I'd done it wrong ref appealing/disputing but regardless, I wrote to the adjudicator's office, copied all correspondence, wrote a massive cover letter outlining my complaint and why I felt I had received the money in good faith etc, included extracts of the recorded conversation highlighting the important parts. Fortunately, the adjudicators office sent me a letter saying I needed to send "the final letter from HMRC stating that dispute/appeal lost" which I didn't have. I sent the adjudicators letter to HMRC stating I needed it. It must have ended up in the right hands as I got a letter from a very nice chap saying that he's listened to the recording and agreed that I had been misinformed. He apologised for the delay in responses and sent me £10 for "expenses incurred". A tenner didn't even come CLOSE to the amount of phone calls/recorded deliveries but I didn't argue in case he changed his mind.

So my advice would be to challenge, challenge, challenge. If you have proof (like recording) list times where misinformation is given or is unclear. Send everything recorded delivery. Get adjudicators office involved (they are very nice) and don't give up. I even started repaying the debt to prevent baliff situation but sent a recorded letter stating it did NOT mean I agreed or accepted that the overpayment be repaid. Don't give up hope.

molly how's your situation? Hope some of the above can assist?

DumpedForAGymnast Wed 27-Apr-16 17:57:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pastaofplenty Thu 28-Apr-16 15:48:15

I won a case too - £8k - it was their fault and miscalculation however I kept records of all calls and told them I had informed them of changes (I had). In the end they settled in my favour. I used a template letter I found on Google and personalised it. Good luck

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now