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Tax Credits - how do you complain?

(34 Posts)
ssd Wed 25-May-05 13:20:18

Our tax credits have been completely ballsed up by the people on the other end of the phone.

Everytime I phone them to get it sorted I get a new awards notice out with a different amount on it. We have been overpaid by A LOT and I want to get it sorted and to give it back, but I'm getting nowhere.

Does anyone know how to complain and who to?

Would really appreciate and advice, I'm worried sick and getting nowhere.

ssd Wed 25-May-05 13:22:55

What I'm worried about is the fact that if we're overpaid by so much they could stop our payments at sometime in the future and as we are on less than £15,000 we really need the money and if it suddenly stopped we'd be up s**t creek.

I just want the right amount we're due AND NO MORE!!!

SaintGeorge Wed 25-May-05 13:34:37

Put all the over payments in a seperate interest paying bank account and don't touch the money.

Write to them giving full details of, in your estimate, over payments and what the correct details should be.

Then just wait - but continue to put any further over payments in the account.

They will either sort it and ask for cash back or will later reduce your payments to claim it back that way. Either way, you have the cash safe and you are earning interest to boot.

nightowl Thu 26-May-05 01:47:40

ssd..no advice but my sympathy. lots of. inland revenue have screwed up my tax credits so badly im actually paying to work at the moment. it all happened when i went back to work two months ago after being unemployed for ten months. luckily i had gotten the job through the lone parent advisor at the job centre and she has been very helpful. im hoping now that they have finally fixed it. my boss has asked me if i want to work extra hours but i have had to lie and tell him i cant because im scared that the inland revenue will screw it up again with the childcare costs . ive had 6 award notices in two months, all of them wrong! stupid payments all over the place, some for 90p and other daft amounts. useless. theyve also claimed £600 back from years ago and it wasnt my fault!!

ssd Thu 26-May-05 07:44:10

THanks for your answers. I'm going to go to the bank and put £600 into an account as suggested and it's there when they want it back. I can't believe their imcompetance, I mean they had my dh working 38 hours a week, they had his employer details but they had him earning NIL income! I mean do these read over what they type in! So we've been getting all sorts of bumper payments and no-one has a clue why when I call them.

Does anyone know if it's possible to get hold of a manager when you phone them up? although they might be hopeless as well....

Kidstrack2 Thu 26-May-05 09:00:22

If you have an overpayment they usually take it back at 25% from the following years tax credit ie 2005/06. So this year they will pay you 75% of your award until the overpayment has been paid back. They usually don't take the large amount back, this I don't know why. I have recently been overpaid by 1000pound couldn't beleive it when I went to the bank, but I knew it wasn't ours to spend, so I called them and I said I would send the overpayment back in a cheque, but they still insist that its my money but I know its not, the same happened last year with a smaller amount and they set up the pay back scheme, so looks as if we will be again only getting 75% of our award this year. They do it so many times I wonder if they actually take any info in. A freind of mine was recently over paid by 7000 pound it had been sitting in her old bank account from a few years ago when she was sent a letter recently to say she had been overpaid she went and checked the old account and there was an astonishing 13 000 pound in the account it had been a high interest account at 4% and the Inland Revenue only wanted what was theres the 5000pound back so my friend had over 6000pound left for herself, Now how many times have you heard of that? Not many eh!

expatinscotland Thu 26-May-05 09:06:13

I'm sorry, but am I the only one who feels that if they cock it up and you informed them - in writing - of their mistake, sometimes repeatedly, that they shouldn't be able to claim it back years later?

B/c for some reason, I find that absolute bll**s!

ssd Thu 26-May-05 09:06:25

Kid that's frightening!

During my last phone call to the TC people, I asked how I could pay back an overpayment and I was told to take a cheque into my nearest benefits office and it would be forwarded to the inland revenue. Mind you I would take photocopies and get as many receipts as possible because you just know they'd deny ever getting your cheque in years to come.

emily05 Thu 26-May-05 09:10:06

ssd - we are in exactly the same situation as you. I have complained to the address on the awards notices.

We have been overpaid by £3000. They had a 'system error' that put my dh wage as £0. I told them straight away but it has taken them 6 months to sort it out and they carried on paying us loads of money!

We like you got loads of different awards notice with all sorts of amounts on that never added up.
The way they have sorted it out is that they are taking back by not paying us future claims! So for instance they should be payinging us I think £450 odd pounds for the next tax year. But they are not going to pay us, so the £450 comes off the £3000 we owe them! So we wont get tax credits for about 6 years!!!!!! But we still have the £3000! But I am too scared to touch it incase they ask for it back! I wouldnt put anything past them.

What you will find is they probably have an 'appeal' on your claim - which means they are sorting it out. They have buggered up so many that it is taking them ages to sort them all out! So dont worry they will get to yours.

ssd Thu 26-May-05 09:14:11

That's what worries me, our payments stopping and being frightened to touch the overpayment in the bank incase they ask for it all back. We've only got an income of 15,000 and the tax credits really help so if they're stopped we're buggered.

emily05 Thu 26-May-05 09:17:29

ssd - what I am going to do is pay myself monthly out of the £3000. Ask them how much you should be getting (I think this is what is on their website) divide it by 12 (months) and give yourself this every month - this way you cant go wrong iyswim.

They are the most rubbish organisation I have ever dealt with and they cant do simple maths. I would not send them a cheque by the way as I have spoken to at least 15 different operators and they all said that they take it back out of future years. I think sending them the money back will confuse them even more!!! (even though it makes sense!)

ssd Thu 26-May-05 09:18:41

Thanks Emily, you're probably right.

They are hopeless aren't they!

emily05 Thu 26-May-05 09:20:30

The thing that gets to me is that when I ring up they act as if this is a one off situation and never usually happens. But after speaking to you and reading this thread that is obviously untrue!! Seeing as they also put your wages at £0 I wonder if their system did this to a lot of people!

What bothers me is the temptation to spend the moeny!!

Kidstrack2 Thu 26-May-05 09:27:31

Thats it I'm off to call them yet again and I'm not leaving the phone line until its all sorted, theres 1000pound in my account and if they don't want it back then I'm spending it or moving it into a high interest account! I wonder how much I would get back after a few years!

emily05 Thu 26-May-05 09:34:39

kidstack2 - move it to a high interest account, but one that you can take the money out at any time. (mine is in my Halifax internet savings account) and dont worry. I gave up ringing them, each operator will tell you a different story! Let them sort it out and hold onto the money!

expatinscotland Thu 26-May-05 09:37:41

I never ring them up anymore. Everytime you phone them, it's a different story.

I only send them letters - via registered post so I have a record they received it.

ebbie22 Thu 26-May-05 09:43:13

They did this to us,one in my account,one in partners,
it was alot of money,
so we phoned them up,went in to see them etc....
nothing so we paid of one of our laons with it,
Over a year later still nothing,by the way when they started paying me even more,I went in again to seee them,said it wasnt right and to stop it until I hear from them...didnt hear from them and was worried that if I wasnt claiming they couldnt back date what I owed off of that....got turned down saying my husband and I werent the sole carer of dd....
Really upset thinking who else did they think was....DH phoned them up and they said Until the money had been paid back they couldnt give us the money so it will be a year or so still,They had been paying it off but if they had only told me i wouldnt of been worried sick...BUT our laon was paid off with no interest charges...hth xx

ebbie22 Thu 26-May-05 09:45:39

Sorry doesnt really answer your question does it xxxx

Kidstrack2 Thu 26-May-05 15:40:20

Well folks spoke to inland rev again this morning, didn't get much help as I thought. Have now transfered the money into a high interest account with my bank. Have since called back this afternoon and demanded to know if its def an overpayment, they said they would let me know next week, and if it is an overpayment I can write a cheque and take it in to my local Inland rev office and get a receipt for it so there is no come back on me. Just can't beleive the amount of mistakes they make and the amount I have to pay back, I always fill the tax credit returns in correctly and trufully to the nearest penny and they still cock it up. I am now waiting for this years tax credit award to be sent out and guarenteed that will be wrong too!

expatinscotland Thu 26-May-05 15:57:33

I got three different award notices with three different amounts on them, Kids, after I completed my annual review form and copied my income directly off my P60 down to the last pence.

It took them 3 weeks to process and they received it 1 May.

I make sure I keep a photocopy of all the annual reviews.

Those people couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.

ssd Fri 27-May-05 06:52:40

I've taken all of the advice and moved money into a separate account. I hope I've moved the correct amount, I'm so confused I don't know what's going on. I want to call them to ask what my overpayment actually is but I know that'll generate another awards notice and the ballsup will continue.....

I've totally lost faith in them.

Kidstrack2 Fri 27-May-05 09:31:39

Well folks the Inland Rev have frozen my account as of yesterday afternoon, the 1000pound that I thought I had successfully transferred into a high interest account in the morning had not gone through, the inland rev contacted my bank and blocked the whole process. When I spoke to the tax credit people yest morning before I had gone into the bank, they told me not to touch my account and leave the money where it was. I agreed and went along with what they said. Its not as if I was going to tell them I was moving it into another account. I am boiling, not only do I not have access to my own money thats in that account but I also have my weekly tax credits in there as well as my child benefit, which I have been building up. I have an appointment this morning at 11.15am to speak with my bank to see what they can do. It doesn't really matter that they have frozen the 1000 pound as I have known from the start it isn't mine but I need access to that account for my own money! I played fair with them and said I would go to the nearest tax office and write a cheque, but they said wait till next week to find out for sure if it really is an overpayment. I am mad.

emily05 Fri 27-May-05 09:36:42

Can they do this???? Put a stop on your account without you authorising it? That is bloody awful! This takes the piss. I tell you what I would complain strongly (also might be worth contacting GMTV! I know that it sounds daft but they are constantly doing stories about this and they might be interested). I really feel for you they are such idiots

ssd Fri 27-May-05 09:40:08

kid, this is awful.

I would contact CITIZENS ADVICE straight away.

Good luck (they are B***ds)

Let us know how you get on, I think we're all in the same boat.

emily05 Fri 27-May-05 09:41:37

kids - have you seen the other thread about this? Somebody has put an e-mail of somebody who you can complain to about tax credits adjudicators@gtnet.gov.uk

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