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I just need to rant about tax credits!!!!!

(49 Posts)
Fran1 Tue 19-Apr-05 23:29:37

I know noone can help me, but i just need to rant rant rant about child tax credits.

Last April, i informed them of dps v big payrise (i.e drastically reduced what we should have received) over the telephone. For the next two months we received two payments per month - with it being end of year, i assumed these were payments owing to us as when i had spoken to the man on the phone, he assured me we did not owe anything and payments would change accordingly.
Once this continued into third month, i rang and guess what, they had no knowledge of dp's pay increase, so we owed them about £800. So payments would be stopped until April 2005 by which time we will have paid back what we owed and things will continue as norm.
I wrote a letter to complain and explain why i thought the money was ours etc etc.

No response.

Rang a couple of months later, spoke to a woman who was quite obviously fed up with dealing with this, told me not to bother writing cos the letters don't get read, so tough luck, put up with it. She did confirm payments would start again April 2005.

Here we are in April 2005 - no sign of payment, i telephoned to find out what was happening, to be told i was not due anything until April 2006!!!! I said had they received my letter from June 2004, yes that was received in Feb 2005 and was being looked at??????????

And what can i do in the meantime? Wait.

I was so gobsmacked that i didn't really question why it had taken them 8mths to put my letter on file and now i just feel so let down, i can't bear to ring again. I have kept all statements from them, and i still can't make sense of anything, or work out if their figures are correct.

We really could do with the financial help and i am so mad about their incompetencies messing with so many peoples finances!!!!!!!

Sorry that ended up being so long. I feel better now though!

mummy2b Wed 20-Apr-05 10:29:31

Fran have you tried visiting your local CAB and asked there advice (i heard from a friend that if its IR fault that you was overpaid then you dont have to make any repayments!) coz it seems to me that IR are just fobing you of with different things each time you contact them.

I am also having problems with my claim from last tax year, and i am just in the process of writing a letter of complaint, my problem has been going on since June 2004 because i started sending my ds to a registered childminder and they stopped all of my payments!!!

Hope CAB can advice you appropriatly and that it is sorted fairly soon for i know how annoying IR helpline can be, no one seems to know what going on!

Good luck, a try to keep me posted with any news!!!

Fran1 Wed 20-Apr-05 23:34:14

Thanks for your reply.

I know many of us are suffering with this stupid problem.

Your reply has given me more uuumph to carry on fighting!
I just can't see how i can get anywhere!

I may try CAB

Your friend is right that if its the IR fault they can't claim back, but theres a lot of small print after that. Firstly there is no evidence that i did inform them off my dp's pay increase as it was over the telephone. Secondly they say because the amounts were so large, i would have noticed, and should have informed them of the error!!!!!!

Basically they will get out of it whatever way they can.

But yes, lets keep each other informed!!

Peachyclair Wed 20-Apr-05 23:59:41

I had to repay hundreds of pounds because when the phone line was jammed last summer I couldnt get through, and it took them eight weeks to action the letter I wrote. HOWEVER I didnt have to repay the money I was overpaid on child care, because when I phoned but coldnt remember the date Sam left, the chap said @it dowsnt matter, ill just put down today, we dont care'- when they queried it I could give the mans name, and I guess they could check it.

The moral? keepr ecords of anyone you speak to in that place!!

nightowl Thu 21-Apr-05 00:34:26

symathise . i had to pay back £70 one year and have been told i owe them £500 from a couple of years back. now ive gone back into work and they are so completely stupid and incompetant they cant seem to get it into their heads that im claiming for childcare. first they only took for one child at £17.00. then i told them i had had two in childcare but the one £17.00 now did not go to a chldminder. so then they still only allowed for this one. it stated the amount i pay for the other one on the calculation but the amount i get is wrong (what i would have got for the other one). several phonecalls later im no closer to getting anything. i was told by the job centre that it was very important i gave ir all this info... why exactly? they havent done anything with it! ive been working about 6 weeks now and im paying stupid amounts for childcare and getting nothing back. i cant afford to work and im going seriously overdrawn. will be giving up my job soon. getting single parents back into work? its no wonder so many of them dont.

Linnet Thu 21-Apr-05 00:50:38

We are paying back money to the Tax Credits. To be honest I'm a bit confused about what exactly I'm paying back but I just don't have the energy to deal with them on the phone.

First year we qualified for the CTC and the WTFC. then the next year they said that we don't qualify for the WTFC anymore and they had overpaid us and we'd have to pay back the overpayment. to do this they reduce the weekly payments of the CTC that we're still entitled to. That was fine I understood that part although we had 3 different notices that all stated different amounts that we owed.

Then I had dd2 and the CTC went up, although it still wasn't as much as it should have been because we were paying back money. Latest notice says that we still owe X amount of money, I thought they would have recovered it all by now as it wasn't that much to start with.

It's all very confusing and I really really hate phoning them. But guess what I'm going to be doing tomorrow as we haven't had any payments since the 4th of April, aagghh. And to top it all I've been upgraded at work and it's been backdated to last year so that's going to muck the whole thing up again and I'll bet I'll have to pay even more money back so I can kiss goodbye to my nice lump sum payment that I'm going to get from my work

Peachyclair Thu 21-Apr-05 10:26:51

nightowl, you need to call your MP and get him to sort this. it's awful that they should put you in that position

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 10:51:30

Send them letters via Registered Mail. I never phone them anymore. I need proof. I think this whole 'we ballsed up, now pay us back from 5 years ago' is crap! In some countries, if a business or entity screws up, that's just too bad. It's their fault and they have to eat it.

I'd DEFFO get your MP involved! That's ridiculous. People wouldn't be claiming these things if they didn't need it.

To me it seems the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 11:19:34

Don't bother phoning them, Linnet. Put together a written document with all the goings on, including dates. Include copies of bank statements, letters, etc. Tell them you eagerly await a written response and will follow up in writing if you don't get one. Send it to them Registered Mail and keep a copy of your receipt.

I have a file w/all the goings on by year. They claimed my husband was getting Job Seeker's Allowance and factored that into our income. Huh? Not. That's an extra £2800/annum that he never got. They also claimed he gets higher care/mobility component of DLA. Don't think so. So I sent them copies of bank statements (with appropriate bits blacked out) and his award notice of DLA via Registered post.

I wish there were an Ombudsman people could complain to.

Linnet Thu 21-Apr-05 14:49:35

I phoned them this morning to ask why I wasn't getting any payments. Round about the same time you posted Expat.
I took a note of the girls name and the time I called, I always do this anyway.

I asked where our payments were and she told me that they are being issued but there is a problem at their end with the final part going through so although the payments have been issued they haven't gone into my bank account yet. I'm due 3 payments and she has no idea when they will go in but I've just to keep checking my bank account.

I asked her what I'm supposed to do for money in the mean time and she checked to see if our local Inland Revenue Office would emergency payments and came back to me to say NO. I asked why and she said it's because we have other money coming in. I think that's ludicrous, yes we have money coming in but we've also been getting these tax credit payments to boost our income and now we have to scrimp by until the Inland Revenue feel fit to sort out their system and finally pay us.

Sorry didn't mean to rant there but I do feel a lot better now. She also said that she's going to send out a complaint pack for me to fill in if I want to, you better believe I'll be filling it in and sending it back registered post so they can't turn round and say they didn't get it.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 14:58:47

I just sent them a nice letter and documents via recorded 1st class this afternoon.

How stupid! 'You have money coming in'. Yeah, but it's not enough to pay for living so that's why I have to claim tax credits! We'd be looking at homelessness w/o those credits. It's not just a top up for us, it's a matter of a roof over us. Rents are high in this town and before anyone says 'well, move out then' - if you know anything about Edinburgh you'd know you have to move a long, long way out for cheaper and then have to pay big style to commute. And then there's finding good work . . .

Why bother having them as an option at all if the system's such a mess a lot of folks who need them don't get them?

Fran1 Thu 21-Apr-05 18:24:35

I just received my notice and it states that we are entitled to x amount, but because we owe x amount, we are only entitle to about 115 this year.

Further down the letter it says you won't be getting any payments this year as you owe us so much????

This is what really infuriates me, the letters they send are soso so crap and misguiding, everytime i sit down with the thousands of letters i have received from them (one to me and one to dp each time cos we are not married!) i get in such a state i cannot begin to work out why we even owe this much.

There are so many of us suffering from this. What can we do?

I am going to write now as you say rather than phone, but how can i be confident that they will even recieve that when my last letter took 8mths to show on their system?

I am very tempted to start sending them a letter every week, but then i'll just clog the system even more!

Bonkerz Thu 21-Apr-05 18:29:04

I was told that we had been overpaid by £1500 last June when i gave up work. Our award for last tax year was taken from us (£986) and we never recieved any money from tax credit. Was sent a bill in Jan for £600 and didnt pay it. Thankfully we have just recieved a letter stating the overpayment was their fault not ours and we will now recieve our claim from last tax year and new claim will be paid as normal. This is after 10 months of constant ringing and numerous copies of an appeal letter being sent! BTW rang them tonight and still no news on WHEN they will pay the money into my bank account!!!

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 20:52:28

What I do is send them a letter via 1st class recorded. In EVERY letter, I close with something to the effect of 'I look forward to receiving your written response to this'. I give them a fortnight. If I get nothing in the post, I write them again, referencing the earlier letter by date. All 1st class recorded. I save all the receipts, of course, copies of the signed letters, and any documents I've enclosed.

This is starting to REALLY get my dander up. SO many of us have been royally screwed over by this system - which punishes working families for their cock-ups.

Let's brainstorm! There's strength in numbers. Whom can we approach collectively about this?

bubblerock Thu 21-Apr-05 21:27:34

Email Tax office complaints to

They will look into your case and get in touch usually within a week, they contact the IR on your behalf.
Once the tax office knows the adjudicator is involved they seem to get moving a bit quicker. Make sure you ask to be considered for compensation (anything up to 500 pounds) if their mistake has caused stress, worry or hardship etc...

Fran1 Thu 21-Apr-05 22:03:26

Lucky you Bonkerz you seem to be one of the rare lucky ones!

Expat, i'll start doing the same.

And thanks for that bubblerock, i will email them.

I do think its a good idea to all get together on this, lets keep each other informed!

I'm on a mission now, off to write a stern letter.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 22:08:04

The more physical evidence you have to hand, Fran, the better. That's why I decided to keep things written. If they phone, I tell them I will only discuss things in writing, so please send along a letter.

misdee Thu 21-Apr-05 22:32:09

apparentyl we're getting 12k this year. wont argue with them.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 22:34:28

Just keep all the records, misdee. B/c they can come back and say they miscalculated and you owe them back tax credits. It's happened to a lot of folks, as you can see by the posts on this thread.

I even keep copies of the annual reviews exactly as we've signed them.

misdee Thu 21-Apr-05 22:35:41

it is right, have two disabled kids and one baby under 1yr old. next feb it drops by £50 per week. am just using the excess to put by for emergencies.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 22:37:07

Am just waiting and seeing on ours. Due a baby no. 2 in December and will be sending them their requisite letter when it arrives.

misdee Thu 21-Apr-05 22:38:02

just phone them, thats all i did to add dd3 to the award. very easy.

Socci Thu 21-Apr-05 22:40:14

Message withdrawn

expatinscotland Thu 21-Apr-05 22:45:39

I never phone them anymore. I keep it all in writing and all recorded. B/c they've got a nasty habit of coming back years down the line and saying all kinds of stuff. I can't pay the rent w/o those credits, so it's too much to risk.

Frizbe Thu 21-Apr-05 22:50:22

agree they are total ejits, I've spoken to them this week, as I went self employeed last year, ha, ha, ha..... and had told them this, so they've only gone and added my self employeed income (or lack of it) to my previous income, jeeeez if I really earned that much, I'd be living abroad for ffffffffsake.......arses the lot of them.....but good news the woman I spoke to said I'd get a form in the next 3 mths or so, which I can send them back to alter this! in the meantime they've kindly altered my income for next year! although how I'm supposed to pay for dd's nursery in the meantime I haven't a friggin clue. ARGH.

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