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Help Tax Credit overpayment demand

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Hi

I received tax credits until 2007 and at the time I moved in with a new partner, having reported this I was no longer eligible. I think at the time there may have been an mount that had to be repaid but think it was all sorted at the time. Now some 6 years and 9 months later I received on 14th April a letter saying I had a tax credit debt.
One line in the letter states "even at this later stage we may be able to offer you longer to pay; if you contact us now" that seems to suggest that this has been an ongoing matter but this is the first communication i have ever had since ceasing to receive tax credits.
I responded to the letter of the 14th on the 23rd of April which was the exact date I received it however had no response from HMRC which is unusual behaviour for them, they normally send a response acknowledging the letter then deal with it in time. Instead i received on the 9th of May a demand from a debt collection agency called Rossendales. I immediately responded with a copy of the letter sent to HMRC stating that they hadn't replied and that any amount that had been due was duly paid at the time and as I have not been in receipt of any further benefits how can they justify their claim.
They have written back saying I have to prove what amount I paid back and how or they will proceed with action against me.
Please can you advise if there is any kind of scam whereby people are sending out notices allegedly from HMRC?
Or is it possible that a payment made wasn't correctly logged with HMRC back in 2007 - I have scoured what records I have and can't find any trace of a payment or a demand for that matter. I can't see that it's reasonable to keep records that far back when you think a matter has been finalised…… obviously if there were anything on going I would have kept the details.
Are tax credit debts if I can't prove others still valid after the statutory 6 years of statute barring - I read about that on here?
Any advice gladly accepted.
Thanks

Comments

  • Carianne
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    Thanks, I thought writing to them asking for exactly that was the appropriate action, I don't find talking on the phone easy. Instead of responding they just passed the debt off to a debt collection agency so I began to feel that perhaps this was not totally legitimate. Seems very suspect that no communication is received for nigh on 7 years then to get something totally out of the blue which when responded to is ignored and then passed on so quickly. The dates are clear period to 26th July 2007 so not sure why on earth HMRC would have failed to make any attempt to recover anything that they may have felt was outstanding prior to 2014?
  • lorelai34
    lorelai34 Posts: 141 Forumite
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    Tax Credits don't generally send a letter stating they have received a letter so quickly. It wouldn't surprise me as you wrote to them 23rd April and you received debt collection letter 9th May so reasonably close together. When they receive a dispute or appeal they definitely do send a letter saying they have received it although not sure how long this would take. Although if it was a general letter I'm not sure that they would even send an acknowledgement letter.
  • Icequeen99
    Icequeen99 Posts: 3,775 Forumite
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    The first thing you need to do is get the debt collection agency to stop action and the only way of doing that is to offer a small amount repayment each month whilst you sort it out with HMRC. Otherwise they will continue their recovery.

    Tax credit debts are covered by the 6 year time limit in the Limitation Act but you will need legal advice on whether it applies in your case and also it only stops HMRC taking you to court. It doesn't stop them using other methods to pursue the debt such as distraint (bailiffs) or taking it from future tax credits or other benefits.

    IQ
  • Morglin
    Morglin Posts: 15,920 Forumite
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    Monies owed to government aren't time statute barred, but I would certainly contact Tax credits to check what is going on.

    Lin :)
    You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands..........for instance, if they are placed around your throat, she's probably slightly upset. ;)
  • Icequeen99
    Icequeen99 Posts: 3,775 Forumite
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    Morglin wrote: »
    Monies owed to government aren't time statute barred, but I would certainly contact Tax credits to check what is going on.

    Lin :)

    That's not correct. Tax debts are not statute barred, but tax credits are under the Limitations Act.

    See: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/dmbmanual/dmbm595080.htm

    IQ
  • Happydad131
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    I like others have also received a threatening demand from, Past due collections, my ex partner received the same letter, this was from 2006/2008, the statute of limitations is 6 years, having received no letters ever from HMRC, this is a someone just going through old records trying to bully people in to paying money that would of been written off, for whatever reason
  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    I like others have also received a threatening demand from, Past due collections, my ex partner received the same letter, this was from 2006/2008, the statute of limitations is 6 years,

    That only stops them from taking someone to court. It doesn't stop them from recovering the debt through other methods.
  • iceage3
    iceage3 Posts: 235 Forumite
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    Points

    You was saying you think was paid at the time

    So

    1 did u get letter about payments how much owe
    2 did letter say when this balance was £0 and payed off
    3 do u keep your final tax credits statements each yr ,if not why ?
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