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For Bonkerz and anyone else with tax credit problems

(29 Posts)
wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 20:31:39

I had a notice to pay back my overpayment today - the IR sods want £1800 from me!!! Phoned up to (again) say I had no idea how I'd been overpaid etc etc. There's supposed to be a form coming to me (from a couple of weeks ago when i phoned up) but naturally the department wanting payment is far more efficient than the department to help you.

The woman I spoke to was sh*tty so was naturally sh*tty back to her and she tried to excuse their slowness by saying lots of people needed the forms - so I said I wonder why!!!

And I've had the official answer......it's all YOUR fault. We, the sponging tax credit claimers, have all neglected to send back our annual forms and so the poor hard-done-by IR has overpaid us and has to do all this work claiming it back. It's not their fault for being cr*p and not inputting info into their computers, it's all our fault.

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, does anyone fancy doing a joint complaint to Tony Blair and the head of IR with me about this?

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 20:45:12

Yeah, I do. I want it to be made public what our amount is - like some kind of calculator those of us w/accounts can use. B/c it doesn't seem we have a leg to stand on if they 'overpay' us. We're in the dark about how it's calculated. What happened to the whole 'Freedom of Information' Act??

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 20:49:12

eis - know exactly what you mean - have no real clue what I'm supposed to get etc etc, even the IR website calculator is a minefield. They've introduced this 'special form' to help you say you don't think you should have to pay anything back which i'll try out and see what they say but they certainly don't make it easy.

They included a giro slip FFS - as if I was going to get £1800 and pay it in!!!

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 20:53:07

This worries me to all f*, b/c we are so bloody low income if they yanked any of our tax credits we would not be able to make our rent. We live in an expensive city, but b/c this is where the work is.

I think it is CRAP that they do this so often.

Tell me about their website! I tried to get an account on there, and they send me this login and password, then direct me to a site where there's no place to put one in??!!! Of course, the helpline is not toll free. So here I get more bills. Nice. Just what I f'ing needed!

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:01:02

Sorry eis, sounds like they're being just as cr*p with you. Have they said they've overpaid you?

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 21:06:33

Am crossing my fingers they don't, wobbly. Been claiming since 2003 when I started my job and DH (who is disabled and on DLA) stayed home w/DD.

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:07:48

You might be lucky - is your claim fairly straightforward so that even their tiny brains could cope with it?

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 21:10:17

I think it's pretty straightforward as Dh is SAHD. We made sure to list his DLA. Don't have any other income, either, and my only raise has been £500/annum, which we told them about in writing via registered post and got a letter from them back saying that doesn't make any difference. Tell me about it! F'ing council tax went up 4% and Scottish Power raised its prices 8% so there went the raise!

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:12:46

Sounds like you might be ok - you haven't done anything really terrible like dare to get separated and need to change to a single claim!! I told them about it over a year ago and they STILL have ex-h's name on all the forms!!!

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 21:14:33

Oh, they had DH on JSA last year for some reason. Where they got that I have NO idea, as he's never been on JSA. And it took them AGES to get that off our award letter. Had to send multiple registered post letters to them about that.

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:15:22

They are so useless.

secur Fri 11-Mar-05 21:16:40

Message withdrawn

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:18:16

secur - sounds similar to when I did a change last June. Took them 10 weeks in all to sort it out, but if you go into your local office they can pay interim payments.

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 21:18:24

And they're NASTY on the phone - when you can get thru for their lines being engaged all the time. I mean, real twats. Like you're some kind of criminal just claiming for extra money. That's why I don't phone them a/more. All they get are letters via registered post. That way I at least have some record.

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:20:58

I love phoning them - i wait till they get nasty first then i work off all my pent up aggression in being sarky with no guilt whatsoever as I would have been polite if they'd been

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 21:23:03

I'd be pretty angy by the time I got hold of them after hearing their 'no one is available, ring back later' message. Over and over. Easier just to bring up MS Word and dash off another ltr.

secur Fri 11-Mar-05 21:25:37

Message withdrawn

wobblyknicks Fri 11-Mar-05 21:27:41

FFS - that's so stupid!!! the only other thing I can suggest is see someone at your job centre, there's a guy at mine who is wonderful with my tax credits na dhas helped me sort a lot of stuff out but would prefer to scream at the IR myself about this one!!!

And good for you about insisting on a manager!!!

expatinscotland Fri 11-Mar-05 21:28:04

secur!

My WTC pays our council tax and food bill each month. W/o it, we'd be truly lost.

secur Fri 11-Mar-05 21:36:07

Message withdrawn

tallulah Sat 12-Mar-05 17:11:09

secur- the interim payment thing has been stopped altogether- it's not just you.

While I can empathise with the problems you've had & see why you are annoyed, some of your comments about the IR & staff in general are very offensive. If you had said this about a teacher there would be steam coming off this thread.

The IR staff are ordinary people doing a very nasty job with a terrible computer system. It is not their fault. The government set up the system to be as user-unfriendly as it is, not the staff. By all means complain to your MP but don't blame the staff.

Fortunately I don't work in this department but you would be amazed how many people can't fill in a form properly & will argue the toss with you... I've had people say to me "I wouldn't be so stupid as to leave my child's DOB off" & I'm looking at the actual form in my hand with a big blank space where the DOB should be. Not saying this is what you do, but it happens very regularly. (& it's always our fault & never the person who hasn't filled the form in properly/sent it back)

There was tons of publicity that if you didn't send the form back by September your claim would be stopped & it's amazing how many people "forgot".

Surfermum Sat 12-Mar-05 17:21:48

I have to say I have never had a problem with them. They were helpful when I queried why it was based on the previous year's salary (I was having a year's maternity leave). They altered my payments straight away and I got an immediate backpayment. The same happened when I phoned and gave our confirmed income for the year (dh is self employed). Hope I haven't jinxed it now as I'm about to tell them that our income for this year is a lot less that estimated, and I'm expecting another backpayment.

BadHair Sat 12-Mar-05 17:39:05

Wobblyknicks - I would happily join in a mass complaint.
Without going into details I've ended up £100 per month worse off (which is a quarter of my measly low-paid income) and I'm having to work more hours, and therefore lose precious time with my children, because the IR arsed up my original claim.
I have nothing against the ordinary IR staff but the people that designed the Tax Credits system are incompetent fools who have, quite frankly, made my life much worse than it used to be. I heartily wish I'd never bothered claiming in the first place.

Bonkerz Sat 12-Mar-05 17:55:31

ok havent read all the posts because im getting ready to go out and have had abit too much alcohol to type any sense but im with you wk, i rang IR 3 weeks ago and enquired about my overpayment and was told basically that on the computer it said we would be getting the letter saying we were not at fault and should recieve all our money that we are due back! Will type tomorrow after hangover has worn off OK.

Bonkerz Sat 12-Mar-05 18:30:45

just read thread and have to say that a few staff have been dran ignorant when i have rang BUT the majority have been very open and told me that its on the computer that IR have accepted blame for the overplayment etc etc etc I bet these are the calls that WONT be recorded though! Ok am off out now!! YEEEEE HAHAHAHA

Wk will text you tomorrow ok mate, love ya but freedom calls!!

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