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Tax Credits

(69 Posts)
BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 21:13:58

I am a SAHM. I have a 6yo DS and 1yo twins. Had to give up work after mat leave as child care for 2 was more than I earned by a mile. My DH has a well paid job, but we have loads of debt. We were getting by as we were getting Tax Credits and Child Benefit. Nothing has changed between last year and this year financially, they cut my TC by £80 per 4 weeks which is a lot to us. I called to talk about it but they couldn't tell me why and said wait for renewal, then it was cut again by another £20, then a week later another £20. I got my provisional award in at this amount, then a day later it went down by another £50. Which means in total it is gone down by £170 per 4 weeks, this is a disaster for us. I called again yesterday and she went through all the details again, confirmed all correct and said payment will stay the same (the minus £170 figure) until I get my renewal through. My next TC payment is due in 6 days. I checked my online account today and it's gone down again, this time to zero! I'm panicking and they are now shut for the weekend. How can they do this with no explanation or warning, this is the difference between us eating for the next month or not! We have already had to switch the heating off, I'm in a real panic and need some advice please. The only notification I have had is the provisional figure mentioned above, all the other ones I only found through checking my online account.

samanthajayne17 Fri 12-May-17 21:29:42

Thats really strange if your have not had any changes financially ???

Do you owe any overpayments from previous years? Because sometimes they take that off to recover it? I can't understand why your payments are 0 if you have not had any changed?

samanthajayne17 Fri 12-May-17 21:30:50

Also you can still speak to someone on weekend. Have you tried the online chat service they have instead of having to ring them?

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 21:35:36

Can you clarify what you mean by your dh having a good income.? With 3 kids and no childcare costs the threshold is around £38k. Anything over this you wouldn't get tax credits.

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 21:37:44

I'm so angry, I spent hours on the phone this time last year making sure it was all right, i have said this to them on the phone and get very little response. First time I was told I had lost the 30 hour element, which is interesting as I don't get any WTC because of my DHs income, it's all CTC... plus it's a joint claim and he still works over 30 hours hmm then I was told it was because I was over paid last year but then they relented and agreed none of my info had changed. When I called yesterday she went through everything, but still couldn't really offer an explanation and said I would need to wait for renewal, and between me speaking to her yesterday and tonight it's gone to zero! I'm so sick of HMRC how can I possibly work out what's the right figure when the system is so complicated and unexplained. Anyone should be able to do simple calculations to get a figure! Online chat!? I had no idea I could do this!! I need this sorted before my next payment date otherwise we are fucked! Thank you for the heads up about online chat!

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 21:38:29

@Babyroobs it's much less than that, closer to £30K

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 21:40:24

If you can give us some approximate figures of earnings someone may be able to help by working out the amount. Their are a couple fo posters on these forums who can do a fairly accurate calculations of what amount you should be getting.

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 21:42:00

Ok then you certainly wouldn't be entitled to as much as it seems you were getting. You say it's gone down by £170 a month which is a lot but what on earth was it before? I'm sorry but I think you have been very overpaid and they are just rectifying it now.

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 21:43:39

Go onto an online benefit calculater. The figures it gives you aren't always entirely accurate but will give you a rough idea of the amount you should get.

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 21:49:49

Ok I just did a quick benefit check on the turn to us benefit calculator and it is coming up with £61.43 child tax credits per week assuming none of your children are disabled. This was assuming you husbands pay was £30k gross. I think you have a big overpayment somewhere. Sorry. Please check yourself though.

lougle Fri 12-May-17 21:52:47

Hi BigGrannyPants, if you could give some details we might be able to help you to work out what's happened with your claim, but it would need to be quite detailed. You'd need to say what your DH's income was, what your income was, when you started and stopped Mat leave, whether you were claiming childcare costs and how much.

It can be difficult during maternity leave with childcare, etc., and that can lead to overpayments, but until you've seen the figures it will be difficult to say.

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 22:06:44

@lougle DH earns £32K, I have no income at all, none of the kids disabled, we receive no other benefits. Last year I got £317 every 4 weeks, so approx £79 p/w. This was based in the above figures. I spent a long time going through this on the phone last year to make sure it was correct and always ask them to base on the current year and not the previous year so I don't end up owing money. There have literally been no changes.

@Babyroobs That might be true but I am sick with it, I did everything right, disclosed everything to make sure figures were correct, but it's me who has to manage the fall out of their mistake. It was reduced at the new tax year, went from £317, then to £243, then to £224, then to £178. The last figure was quoted to me on the phone on Thursday as being correct until my renewal was processed then could be subject to change again depending on any changes (of which there are none) so that reduced me to approx £44 p/w... then I check online today and it says no payments scheduled!

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 22:24:36

Yes it is hard, if you have been overpaid then you should be able to hopefully negotiate a repayment plan over a longer time rather then them reducing your award to nothing. I wouldn't read to much into the no payment schedule it may just mean it hasn't been finalised yet not that you are going to receive nothing !

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 22:29:32

@Babyroobs I have been obsessed with the online thing over the last couple of weeks and it has so far been very accurate. I really object to not even being told as a courtesy things have changed and payments will change, we have to budget very carefully and I can't do that if they keep mucking up my payments. I also object to going out my way to make sure it's right and them still getting it wrong, I was told on the phone yesterday that I was not over paid last year and my payments have been reduced for another reason but no one can tell me what that is. All they keep saying is wait for your renewal

lougle Fri 12-May-17 22:32:44

Ok, well assuming no changes:

Working Tax Credits
Basic element £1960
Couple element £2010
30 hour element £810
= £4780

Child Tax Credits
Family element £545
Child element £2780 x 3 = £8340
=£8885

Income disregard =£6420; Income taper 41%

Income subject to taper: £32,000 - £6420= £25,580
Excess income: £25,580 x 0.41 = £10,487.80

Excess Income is first applied to Working Tax Credit.

£10,487.80 - £4780 (WTC) = £5707.80
So no Working Tax Credits are due.

Remaining excess is £5707.80.

Child Tax Credit is £8885
£8885 - £5707.80 = £3177.20
£3177.20/52= £61.10 per week or £244.40 per 4 weeks.

It might be just slightly more than that because they actually calculate it in a per day way, but the actual result will be pennies or pounds out, not tens of pounds out. I think you had a big overpayment somewhere.

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 22:35:26

It's odd but I doubt it means you're going to get nothing. I can't think of any other reason for your payments going down unless your dh's wage has gone up. It's odd.
I know that from April 2017 they are doing away with the family element of tax credits ( worth about £10 a week to families) But I think I read this is only for new claims which obviously doesn't apply to you.

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 22:37:39

And if you've always updated them and given correct information, then the error could well be on their part.

Shopkinsdoll Fri 12-May-17 22:40:06

My partner earns about 35 pa and we get zilch. I don't understand how you are getting that amount of money per month? I don't work either.

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 22:41:02

Shopskin - How many kids do you have, op has 3 it makes a big difference !

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 22:42:03

And the thresholds go up the more kids you have. For 2 kids the threshold ( with no childcare costs) is around £32k, for one child it is around £26k.

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 22:44:10

@lougle you are some kind of tax/mathematical genius! This fits in with the £243 I was quoted, so I just need to find out why it's now been reduced and if it was overpayment an explanation as to why! Thank you so much for this, I have no confidence in talking to HMRC as I had no idea how they were working it out! They have told me to call back with P60 details once I have my renewal pack. I could kiss you!

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 22:46:14

@Babyroobs because my last two were multiple birth the third child rule wouldn't apply to me even if it were a new claim, and there will be no thresholds going up in this house we've got enough kidsgrin

BigGrannyPants Fri 12-May-17 22:47:31

@Shopkinsdoll I have never understood tax credits, lougle has explained it as clearly as I've ever seen it, which I am mighty grateful for

Babyroobs Fri 12-May-17 22:50:37

No I never mentioned the third child rule at all , just the family element stopping. If you were getting £317 at the start of the tax year and should have been getting £244 then if you have been getting that £317 for some time despite your dh's income being the same last tax year then clearly there has been an overpayment. It's just a question of how long they have been overpaying you for ?

lougle Fri 12-May-17 22:52:43

Pleasure! Here are the Tax Credits rates and thresholds for the last two years, which is where I got all the figures from. You have to scroll down quite a way to get to the Tax Credits section, but you can see that all the allowances are identical for this year and last year. I presumed that your twins were born before April last year, by the way, in that they qualified for the whole of last year's tax credits? Did you not get any maternity leave last year? Would that have affected your claim?

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