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    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 15th May 17, 9:42 PM
    • 15Posts
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    hedgemonkey66
    suprise letter
    • #1
    • 15th May 17, 9:42 PM
    suprise letter 15th May 17 at 9:42 PM
    hi,
    today i recieved a letter out of the blue from HMRC...

    your tax credit debt of £47**.00
    our debt collection agency has returned your debt to us.
    we're very disappointed that, despite previous requests for payment, you still haven't paid us what you owe.
    we now believe that you have made an active choice to ignore us, so we're going to look at other ways to pursue this debt. if you don't pay or contact us in the next few days, one of our collectors may call at your home to discuss payment options.

    1) this alleged debt is from 2003, 14 years ago!
    2) although there was a joint claim with an ex partner at around that time, i have NEVER received ANY correspondence in regard to it. we separated, i moved, the payments stopped, i presume she informed HMRC.
    3) i am on the electoral roll, have a current tax credit claim with a new partner, so have not been exactly difficult to find, surely their 'debt collection agency' would have been in touch?
    4) everything i have read online say this alleged debt is statute barred, even if i did owe it, which i dispute.
    i would normally just ignore it, but my partner has just buried her brother and is off work, and the last thing i need is some bloke knocking the door about some alleged debt from years before i met her....

    any advice, anyone? thanks.
    Last edited by hedgemonkey66; 15-05-2017 at 9:46 PM.
Page 2
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 16th May 17, 5:24 PM
    • 3,452 Posts
    • 2,349 Thanks
    Icequeen99
    thank you.
    i have put in a subject access request, and written to them, pointing out it was a joint claim, reiterating the fact i have never received any communication from them or anyone else regarding the claim, and pointing out that, as a stay-at-home dad with zero income or assets, i would request a 12 month suspension of recovery, should they show the debt exists. as my circumstances will not change after 12 months, upon review, the debt should be remitted as per HMRC policy.
    Originally posted by hedgemonkey66
    You may have some difficulties with this approach. They don't need to show the debt exists - they fulfilled their legal duties when the claim ended and the award notice was issued. They will therefore keep pursuing.

    Also, they are likely to look at your household income - so you do have income, you have tax credits and your partner presumably has income.

    It is more difficult these days to get a suspension of recovery if there is other income in the household.

    IQ
    • GarthThomas
    • By GarthThomas 16th May 17, 6:00 PM
    • 147 Posts
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    GarthThomas
    Perhaps you aren't going to be able to be a stay at home dad living hand to mouth for a while. You may need to take on evening, night, or weekend work for a bit to cover this. Fancying not working isn't going to cut it as a reason not to pay.
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 16th May 17, 7:08 PM
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    hedgemonkey66
    so youre saying hmrc are infallable and i should just accept them saying i owe them £5k after 14 years with no previous contact?
    i take issue with the income point raised. my partner has income and claims tax credits, i have no income.
    garth, it's nothing to do with 'fancying not working' it's simple economics. my partner can earn more than me, a parent needs to bring up our child. whats the point of having her if we're just going to farm her out to other people to bring her up while we work?
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 16th May 17, 7:18 PM
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    hedgemonkey66
    i dont think i'm out of order asking for info from them. as i said, there was a claim around that time, but as far as i knew there was no overpayment. i can accept i did not discharge my responsibilites by informing hmrc i had moved and the relationship had ended, but my ex partner had, surely they dont need both people to do it?
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 16th May 17, 7:26 PM
    • 1,631 Posts
    • 3,371 Thanks
    IAmWales
    so youre saying hmrc are infallable and i should just accept them saying i owe them £5k after 14 years with no previous contact?
    i take issue with the income point raised. my partner has income and claims tax credits, i have no income.
    garth, it's nothing to do with 'fancying not working' it's simple economics. my partner can earn more than me, a parent needs to bring up our child. whats the point of having her if we're just going to farm her out to other people to bring her up while we work?
    Originally posted by hedgemonkey66
    Presumably your partner is not working 168 hours a week? Garth suggested you look for evening night or weekend work, times when your partner could provide childcare.

    As for "farming your child out", preschool care enables children to learn to socialise and prepares them for full time school - even part time, these are beneficial to the child's development.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 16th May 17, 7:29 PM
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    Darksparkle
    You can ask for info all you want however as said previously, all they need to do is prove that at least once you were sent an awards notice or letter. It is too late for you to take any dispute/appeal action.

    For an overpayment of over £4,000 to occur then there must have been some delay in your ex-partner notifying them of the change or appropriate paperwork was not completed.

    Your comment about farming children out is also very offensive. I have a child and I work. Just because someone takes care of him for a few days a week does not mean someone else is bringing up my child. I pride myself in having a career and setting a good example for my son by working hard to provide for him.
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 16th May 17, 7:39 PM
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    hedgemonkey66
    i found it very offensive to be accused of 'fancying not working'. my views on raising my child are not really relevant here.
    i value your knowledge however. as i have not yet posted the letter i have written them, what would you suggest? i have no issue in repaying anything i actually owe, once i am in a position to do so, but would like to know how they came to that figure, i don't think that's too much to ask, after 14 years....
    • MHOWARD
    • By MHOWARD 16th May 17, 7:45 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    MHOWARD
    whats the point of having her if we're just going to farm her out to other people to bring her up while we work?
    Originally posted by hedgemonkey66
    Some people may ask why have a child if you cannot support them, that's simple economics as well. If everyone used your logic there would be no money to support all these children.
    My partner used to do a few days a week and i would work night's. Surely you could find something around your partner's hours?
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 16th May 17, 7:47 PM
    • 3,452 Posts
    • 2,349 Thanks
    Icequeen99
    i found it very offensive to be accused of 'fancying not working'. my views on raising my child are not really relevant here.
    i value your knowledge however. as i have not yet posted the letter i have written them, what would you suggest? i have no issue in repaying anything i actually owe, once i am in a position to do so, but would like to know how they came to that figure, i don't think that's too much to ask, after 14 years....
    Originally posted by hedgemonkey66
    Nobody is saying you can't ask or that you shouldn't ask - what we're trying to do is explain how things work and where you sit legally.

    It was a joint claim. Legally they can ask you for the full amount, but they have a policy which says they will recover 50%. All they need to show, as DS already said, is that you were sent a Section 29(3) notice which would have been when the claim finished.

    It doesn't matter whether they left it for 14 years or not really, they don't have to explain themselves at this stage and you don't have any legal recourse because you are out of time for both disputes and appeals even if you do get an explanation.

    Write to them and ask for information - but at the same time you should be speaking to them about repayment of the debt because if you don't then they can take enforcement action in the form of distraint (bailiffs) and as it is for a significant sum it is possible they will do this. To avoid this, speaking to them and explaining your financial situation and coming to an arrangement is the best thing to do whilst pursuing the answers you want.

    IQ
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 16th May 17, 8:27 PM
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    hedgemonkey66
    so arrange a temporary repayment plan, accepting no liability, of 50%, paying out of my partners income, while further info is obtained. obviously if it turns out there is an error they would refund any monies paid. seems a sensible solution for the way things stand at present.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 16th May 17, 9:16 PM
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    Darksparkle
    You won't be able to do anything even if there is an error because you are out of time for any disputes or appeals.
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 16th May 17, 9:30 PM
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    hedgemonkey66
    so if it turns out they have made an error and nothing is owed, because they made no contact for 14 years, i still owe it because the appeals procedure has timed out? as i said i have no idea how i can possibly owe then this much, or anything at all. how ridiculous!!
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 16th May 17, 10:37 PM
    • 3,452 Posts
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    Icequeen99
    so if it turns out they have made an error and nothing is owed, because they made no contact for 14 years, i still owe it because the appeals procedure has timed out? as i said i have no idea how i can possibly owe then this much, or anything at all. how ridiculous!!
    Originally posted by hedgemonkey66
    yes pretty much that's right. If the original calculation was wrong, the only way to reverse that would be through an appeal or through statutory official error. Max appeal time limit is 13 months from date of final decision and official error is 5 years from final decision. So neither of those legal routes are open to you.

    If the overpayment is correct, but you don't think you should have to repay due to a mistake on the part of HMRC, this would be a dispute for which there is now a 3 month time limit again from final notice. So you're out of time, but even if you were in time, you failed to meet your obligations by not notifying HMRC of the separation and by not checking the final award notice and in such a case they won't write off the overpayment.

    It is unlikely you'll even get to the point of them even considering whether it is owed or not - as soon as they see the tax year it is related to they will just say you are out of time for the dispute and normally don't enter into any dialogue.

    The last avenue you can pursue is the complaints process that leads to the Adjudicator and Parliamentary Ombudsman but they only look to see if HMRC have followed their own rules/processes which they most likely have if you try and appeal or dispute now.



    IQ
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 17th May 17, 7:37 PM
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    hedgemonkey66
    ok. thanks. but i can still go for the 50% payment because it was a joint claim?
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 18th May 17, 12:19 PM
    • 3,452 Posts
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    Icequeen99
    ok. thanks. but i can still go for the 50% payment because it was a joint claim?
    Originally posted by hedgemonkey66
    yes, you should only pay 50% of the overpayment (unless your ex-partner is willing to pay more!)

    IQ
    • konark
    • By konark 18th May 17, 11:51 PM
    • 917 Posts
    • 714 Thanks
    konark
    Tax credits were only introduced in April 2003, you racked up a lot of overpayments quickly!
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 19th May 17, 6:53 AM
    • 4,653 Posts
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    Darksparkle
    Tax credits were only introduced in April 2003, you racked up a lot of overpayments quickly!
    Originally posted by konark
    I think pretty much every claim did that year.
    • hedgemonkey66
    • By hedgemonkey66 19th May 17, 11:54 PM
    • 15 Posts
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    hedgemonkey66
    Tax credits were only introduced in April 2003, you racked up a lot of overpayments quickly!
    Originally posted by konark
    letter says "period ending 05-06-2003 wtc overpayment £24**"
    "period ending 05-06-2003 ctc overpayment £23**"
    "total unpaid amount £47**"

    so how is that possible? i'm sure i'd have noticed if i was getting over £1000 a month!!!
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 20th May 17, 7:45 AM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 2,940 Thanks
    Darksparkle
    I'd assume it took your ex-partner months to notify tax credits about the change.
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