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tax credit overpayment even though I kept the hmrc up to date

(14 Posts)
chocadd1ct Thu 05-Nov-15 10:00:53

started a new job where I earn more and now all our TC have stopped. fine.

got a letter today that we have been overpayed £850. I always updated any change in circumstances/income as soon as possible to avoid an overpayment. how can this happen? can they force me to repay it? I cannot afford it. one of my DC is severely disabled and I already work 2 jobs. I cannot increase my work load further with being a carer on top to generate this extra money.

NicoleWatterson Thu 05-Nov-15 10:11:54

They did this to me too. It started that they took it out my next years tax credit, then the next year I had to pay it back out of my own money (which hadn't gone up). So not only did I lose my tax credits I had to find the £50 a month out of my wages (which hadn't gone up).
The whole system is screwed, I wished I'd never applied. I had to go through their hardship department as my repayment is so low. The woman was awful and made me cry! She blamed me even though, like you, I kept them up to date.

When you speak to them make sure you have a list of your income and outcome, include EVERYTHING broken down monthly even if you don't pay it monthly
Pet insurance
Pension
Car insurance
Car maintenance (avg service, mot, tyres cost divided by 12)
Road tax

All the little things but essential as well as food, electric etc

NicoleWatterson Thu 05-Nov-15 10:14:34

There is a group who will help you appeal, I didn't as the woman had made me feel so awful I just wanted it to go away.

reallybadidea Thu 05-Nov-15 10:20:48

The trouble is that tax credits are initially based on your previous year's earnings. If your salary goes up during the year then even if they stop your tax credits immediately, they may already have overpaid you because your payments earlier on in the year were initially based on the lower salary.

Double check that the figures theyve given you are correct, but you will probably have to repay it, usually over 12 months, but if it will cause you hardship they may let you repay over a longer period. Give them a ring.

Toffeelatteplease Thu 05-Nov-15 10:21:07

Phone up, say what you have here, offer to pay £20 per month, £10 a month if 20 is not affordable

In my experience arguing with them is way more traumatic than just doing this

chocadd1ct Thu 05-Nov-15 10:45:47

thanks flowers. will ring them later on.

ChammyIRL Fri 06-Nov-15 09:33:58

As they are based over the year if your circumstances change so much that you have already had all your allowance in the first few months of the tax year then it doesn't matter how well informed you keep them, you will end up with an overpayment.

A couple of years back both of us were working and DS was in nursery between April and June, then in June I lost my job but because we'd had £400 a month for 3 months towards his nursery fees we had already had our now full allowance for the year (based on him no longer at nursery and me not working on DH's wage and what I had earned until then). We lost all tax credits and had an overpayment of £600 then they paid us an additional £100 the next year even though we weren't entitled to it. We just paid them £50 a month until it was cleared off.

When I rang they said it was up to you how much you suggest as a repayment, they can't dictate an amount so go for whatever is affordable to you.

DingbatsFur Fri 06-Nov-15 09:36:16

Yes, you can repay in tiny amount. 10 a month if that's affordable. The repayment people are very nice.
The whole system is screwed. You have my sympathies.

Imnotaslimjim Fri 06-Nov-15 09:42:10

When I started my new job in July, my tax credits stopped and I'd been overpaid by £200 for the year. As PP have said, because its worked out on your previous years salary, and then divided by the weeks of the coming year, you will have already had your allowance based on your new wage, and possibly a bit more, hence the overpayment

Dontbesilly Sat 07-Nov-15 10:18:14

The thing that I find most annoying is that each time you ring them, you speak to a different person. Each person tells you something completely different. It's like they make it up as they go along.

My overpayment was paid back with only a months notice over a two month period. No amount of reasoning or negotiation was entertained. It was a very worrying time. I had three lots of school uniforms to buy among other essential things and they were absolutely not interested.

This year I had to wait eight weeks without payment as my eldest started sixth form. I gave them notice in June of this. Two people working there said that at worst my money would be three days late as it's recalculated but it was eight weeks late due to the recalculation dates and my payment date. I rang them up, was told there wasn't anything that they can do and I am still waiting for the manager to ring me back.....that was early September.

It's worth getting the name of anyone who you speak to and to insist on repaying back in amounts you can manage and within a reasonable time frame too.

It's a worrying time. Good luck with it.

NicoleWatterson Sat 07-Nov-15 10:28:42

Dontbesilly my experience was similar to yours, no negotiating on payment amount, they just kept saying what I could afford wasn't enough. Hence having to do the breakdown.
They even told me my dh would have to sell his tools to pay it - he's a self employed tradesman!!!

Dontbesilly Sat 07-Nov-15 15:51:42

I know it's absolutely crazy. I am self employed too. It's not a regular and guaranteed wage to start with. They encourage people to work more relying less on benefits and then suggest selling his tools making him unable to work. Nuts!!

I am more than happy to repay any overpayment but I need to budget and being bullied into it is quite frightening.

One months notice is pushing it. If they needed it back in a lump sum then surely more notice is the way to go, especially as they refused to accept the money in six monthly installments.

I was told that if I went down the complaint route it wouldn't be worth it as they would still be taking the money off me as they planned and a complaint wouldn't change that and that by the time my complaint had eventually reached the people who review complaints, my situation would gave been over with anyway. Why bother to have a complaint procedure then if your advising people who have a concern not to bother using it???

MrsGradyOldLady Sat 07-Nov-15 15:55:36

The problem is that the calculations are like some weird mysterious black art making it really difficult to check their calculations in the first place.

I do know of people that were given time to pay though so try giving them a call.

DingbatsFur Sat 07-Nov-15 20:07:02

Yes, I spoke to a guy there a year ago and he openly admitted there are calculations so complex they don't understand them.

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