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Tax Credit Briefing discussion
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Old 21-07-2009, 1:45 PM   #1
MSE Wendy
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This is to specifically discuss the


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# 2
roger196
Old 29-07-2009, 10:15 AM
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A few years ago I designed an integrated PAYE system for tax credits, housing benefits, council tax benefit, child benefit, income tax and national insurance contributions. All these would be adjusted on a weekly basis as pay or family structure fluctuated. If anyone is interested, go to the House of Commons website and look up " Extended PAYE", where there is a description of it in my evidence to the Treasury Select Committee. Unfortunately there seems to be no political will either amongst MP's or civil servants to sort the problems out.
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# 3
Lynn1303
Old 29-07-2009, 10:51 AM
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Unhappy Overpayments and evidence:

Just a warning:- two years ago I realised we were being hugely overpaid, I rang so many times and wrote so many times saying something was wrong (yes I kept copies of all the letters). The one day we had a letter saying that an investigation was going to be carried out by an inspector for fraud, I rang and asked the inspector why it had taken so long for someone to listen to me but he didn't have a clue what I was on about: none of the letters I sent where "on my file" and the investigation was a "spot check" random one.
The process of two inspectors sitting in my kitchen for hours trailing through every receipt, bank statement and having to justify our expenses was degrading, insensitive and we felt that we had to prove we were not committing fraud.
I showed him all my "evidence" of many letters and my log of phone calls - he simply replied that none of them were on my file.
After months of anxiety they wrote and said they could see that it was a a mistake on the original application form and in this instance they would not be prosecuting but we had to pay back 3500 in one go and then did not get any tax credits for two years because we still owed it.

Yes it was a mistake on our part on the application form but I realised as soon as the first payment came and for around 6 months I was ranting and raving down the phone saying "stop paying me its wrong". They didn't listen and made us feel like criminals. A futher two years later we received a letter out of the blue saying we still owed from that year, after many calls to different departments who said our "screen was clear" we disputed it but the reply demanded we paid it; I dont know what has happened now but the system is such that I had no idea if they were right or wrong, where would I start to check it? In the end you just agree with them to get them off your back. I wish we had never applied to start with.
Perhaps they do this to scare people from applying in the first place!:confused:
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# 4
cooldudecol
Old 29-07-2009, 12:27 PM
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I'm extremely confused here.....

I've just checked the childcare indicator on the HRMC website (http://ccincalculator.hmrc.gov.uk/CCIN0.aspx) and it tells me that I'd be 1443 better off, if I didn't take childcare vouchers out.

I've been taking out childcare vouchers since the start of the year believing it's a good thing, but now this has put a spanner into the works!

Is this right?
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# 5
brians daughter
Old 29-07-2009, 12:32 PM
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child care vouchers such as from an employer busy bees etc? it may well be correct some families are better off not using the work scheme and using the tc child care provision element instead...madness i know
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# 6
Cantala59
Old 29-07-2009, 12:37 PM
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Thumbs down Penalised for over-estimating my income!

I have brought my children up alone (now aged 13 and 16). When the youngest started primary school, I started working virtually full-time. As a result, I'm not very good at household administration sometimes - especially with all these forms - there is often just too much on my plate; too much for one person to juggle.

I've been told for several years running that I've been overpaid which I am at a loss to understand as I have always called the Tax Credits Dept to tell them of changes as they occurred (and usually been told that the change I was informing them about wouldn't affect the amount of Child Tax Credit I was getting). On each lot of correspondence, the amount they claimed I have been overpaid by is listed as well as the amount they are deducing to reclaim it from me.

This year I did some research to find out what my actual income had been (as I had given estimated income). In each case, I had over-estimated my income which had pushed the Tax Office to claim money back from me, based on my income-estimates which were higher than my actual income for those years.

When I called the Tax Office to point this out to them, I was told that this was my bad luck; that I had missed the deadlines and that therefore the 'case was closed'. So they are continuing to claim money back from me, when it is more likely they owe me!

What really infuriates me is that if I had under-estimated my income (instead of over-estimating it) I would be expected to repay all the excess payment back to them. However, there seems to be no onus on them to repay me when the reverse is true - how can this be? :confused::rolleyes:

Your comments and advice will be much appreciated.
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# 7
cooldudecol
Old 29-07-2009, 1:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brians daughter View Post
child care vouchers such as from an employer busy bees etc? it may well be correct some families are better off not using the work scheme and using the tc child care provision element instead...madness i know
I'll need to get that checked out.

If my partner and I take £243 in vouchers each, then we both save about £120 in tax and NIC. So therefore, we would have to get that back in CTC to break even - is that right?
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# 8
KevinG
Old 29-07-2009, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldudecol View Post
I'll need to get that checked out.

If my partner and I take 243 in vouchers each, then we both save about 120 in tax and NIC. So therefore, we would have to get that back in CTC to break even - is that right?
This might help you work it out:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/childcare/interaction-tc-cv.htm

Then again, it might not ...
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# 9
subsoniccoyote
Old 29-07-2009, 2:00 PM
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If you use this calculator it will tell you if you are better to claim help from tax credits or using the childcare voucher scheme.

It is possible to use the voucher scheme then claim the difference between the amount paid and the amount covered by voucher from TCO. However, if you get help towards your costs from TCO it is likely that you wouldnt need to use vouchers as financially you are better off claiming from TCO.
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# 10
cooldudecol
Old 29-07-2009, 2:46 PM
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Thanks for your help guys - much appreciated.

It appears that I'm better off by over 100 if I don't accept childcare vouchers.

So I'll inform TCO asap and hopefully, the changes will be very quick.
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# 11
CarolynV
Old 29-07-2009, 3:57 PM
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Default Overpayment - but I can't pay it back!

I too was overpaid. I queried it on many occasions, and now I have to pay a lump sum back. However, I can't get through to pay - there is a message on the "debt recovery number" (nice!) saying no one is available to take your call, please try again later, and then it cuts you off. Grrrr. I've been trying every day at different times for a week. Why can't I just send them a cheque?! Any suggestions for a good time to call?
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# 12
Cantala59
Old 29-07-2009, 4:38 PM
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Smile How to deal with overpayment and the rest

My advice is to put absolutely everything in writing and keep a copy, also when you post it ask for a proof of postage slip (free). It's a bit arduous I know, but I wish I had done this all along the line as it's all you've got to protect your interests. You assume they (the Tax Dept people) are ethical and efficient but you cannot count on it and when they get it wrong they'll do anything to protect their own skin.

Also, keep a record of any people you speak to:- names, dates and what was discussed or agreed.

I cannot reiterate enough:- I wish I had done this.

Good Luck and thank goodness for this website.
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# 13
gem4
Old 29-07-2009, 5:19 PM
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Smile overpayment written off

I just wanted to say dont give up arguing your case with the tax credit office. They will tell you anything to fob you off. If you know you are right, keep fighting.

Goin back to June 2007, I rang when my daughter left college to find out when my tax credits would end and was told 31st Aug. Then when she got a job in July that year I rang to tell them to stop paying me and asked again when they would end. They said June and I had to pay back what they had given me since she left college. I then told them that they had given me incorrect information when I rang to confirm the stop date previously. They repeated that I was not entitled to it and would have to pay it back.
I wrote to them saying I couldnt afford it and it was their fault so I shouldnt have to pay it. I enclosed a breakdown of my income and expenses.
They didnt reply
I got a demand for the 764 in July the following year. I wrote again, enclosed a copy of my previous letter and told them I was still waiting for a reply to that.
They wrote back saying they'd looked at my case and a few weeks later I got their final response saying that they had upheld their code of practise and I had to pay them back.
I wrote and asked for details of all info they held on me including voice recordings of all phone calls under the data protection act.
I got half of the info, I had to ring again and remind them of their statutory obligations under the data protection act.
In the meantime I got in touch with my mp and she rang the mp's hotline but told me that they said that since they had sent a final response I couldnt get any further without new information or the ombudsman. (Ha, ombudsman is employed by HMRC)
When the cd came I transcribed for them the relevant conversation (which they had previously told me they had listened to) and sent another letter saying they obviously didnt listen to it previously or they would have known I was given the wrong information and that my next step would be the ombudsman, stating the reason that they hadn't dealt with my complaint satisfactorily.

This has all taken two years now. Yesterday I got a letter back saying they had looked at the info I provided and agreed I had been given the wrong info, and they wrote off the total amount.
So.....hang in there, dont give up, keep arguing your case and send everything by recorded delivery, especially if you know you are in the right. The data makes interesting reading too.
debt free...yippee
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# 14
whitevanwoman
Old 29-07-2009, 7:24 PM
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Please could you add www.taxcc.org which is the website of Tax Credit Casualities, to the briefing in the All The Contacts section.

TaxCC is a peer support group, run by a small group of volunteers with OPs of their own, to offer support and advice to others with tax credit OPs, in the dispute and appeal processes. Their website gives loads of info, downloadable dispute pack and template letters, and people can post their query or problem on the forum where other people can help and support.

There is also a link to TaxCC's online petition calling for reform and an amnesty for all non-claimant error OPs - reading some of the entries on the petition is heartbreaking and I would ask all of you who have felt strongly enough to post on here, to go to www.taxcc.org , and to sign the petition. It's the only thing that we, as ordinary people, can do to signal our grievance to a government that has so far failed to listen to us.
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# 15
Icequeen1
Old 29-07-2009, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subsoniccoyote View Post
If you use this calculator it will tell you if you are better to claim help from tax credits or using the childcare voucher scheme.

It is possible to use the voucher scheme then claim the difference between the amount paid and the amount covered by voucher from TCO. However, if you get help towards your costs from TCO it is likely that you wouldnt need to use vouchers as financially you are better off claiming from TCO.
Bear in mind however that the calculator does not always give the right result because it doesn't take into account the 25,000 disregard that exists in tax credits. To get the right answer, you therefore need to make sure you work out which years income you need to enter.

IQ
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# 16
chelsea1504
Old 29-07-2009, 8:41 PM
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Default Overpayment

Just wondered if anybody has had dealings with the adjudicator re an overpayment. Have been fighting the TCC since august 2007 - have managed to agree to pay back a small amount as can't prove an earlier date when advised them of change of circs - they have written off 2000.00 - I could prove when they were advised and they failed to comply etc - however they are penalising us for having another disabled child as the money they paid by their error for one child they have now used as the 2nd child's entitlement????????? They have actually told me if we hadn't had another disabled child born then they wouldn't have been able to do this...and the sum off 939.00 would also have been written off - and we wouldn't have spent the last two months paying it back...So now off to the adjudicator to try and get it back. Arhh Although the lady at the TCC was quite nice an helpful - think she thought it was lousy too....maybe I'm being too generous.
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# 17
Cantala59
Old 29-07-2009, 11:34 PM
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Unhappy Penalised for second disabled child?

It's appalling! Can't Martin get Newsnight or similar to run an expose or investigation?

It is so shocking.
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# 18
confused owl
Old 30-07-2009, 1:38 PM
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Default Entilitled to child tax credits???

Im clutching at straws here but I have exhausted myself trying to find out and the tax credit helpline is useless! Does anyone know If I would be entitled to claim child tax credit if my partner does not work (but also does not claim any benefits) and I work 22 hrs? We have a child who has just turned 1. I have read everything I can get my hands on but everything refers to partners who dont work but DO claim benefits:confused:
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# 19
KevinG
Old 30-07-2009, 4:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confused owl View Post
Im clutching at straws here but I have exhausted myself trying to find out and the tax credit helpline is useless! Does anyone know If I would be entitled to claim child tax credit if my partner does not work (but also does not claim any benefits) and I work 22 hrs? We have a child who has just turned 1. I have read everything I can get my hands on but everything refers to partners who dont work but DO claim benefits:confused:
Whether your partner claims benefits is irrelevant. I don't work, I don't claim benefits (apart from Tax Credits, of course), my wife works 23 hours a week and we get both Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits.
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# 20
joic
Old 01-08-2009, 2:56 PM
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Default tax credit dispute

I am meeting with the tribunal to discuss my overpayment in a few weeks time however this has taken a terrible twist, this is because the my local law centre, that was acting on my behalf has recently closed down. My meeting is due in a few weeks, have approached my local CAB, I was told they cannot take on my case because they have too many cases and not taking on any new ones.
I have waited almost eight months for this date. WHAT SHOULD i DO? Am so confused and stressedand scared.

Last edited by joic; 01-08-2009 at 2:59 PM.
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