Working Tax Credits O/Payment dating back to August 2012 - HELPPP!!!

scotty34 Posts: 2 Newbie
edited 5 November 2015 at 10:41PM in Benefits & tax credits
Hey guys,

Firstly, apologies for the long-winded first post but I'm at my wits end trying to sort this issue out. I hope someone could give me some advice on the best way to proceed?

So back in 2011-2012 I was claiming WT Credits, at around £20-30 per week as I was on a low income. I don't remember fully due to the 3 or so years that have passed since, but for some reason my payments stopped. This coincided with me moving house however as I was moving into shared accomodation and my living costs were going to be considerably less, I didn't follow up why my WT credits had been stopped. Likewise, I didn't receive any correspondence from HMRC to provide an explanation as to why this happened prior to me moving house, nor at my new address.

Fast forward to July this year (having moved house a second time in July 2014) when I receive a Final Demand letter for £266.04 from HMRC with the reason as "Working Tax Credits Overpayment." I attempted to contact them on their tax credits helpline but due to work commitments, I could only do this during break and lunch times, which I sometimes spent upwards of 40 minutes on hold before speaking to someone. So I contacted HMRC via recorded delivery snail-mail, wholly disputing the overpayment as firstly they did not provide proof of which WTC payments they overpaid me with and secondly that three years had passed since this apparent overpayments were made, with no correspondence from HMRC in the interim to state this. I made it clear that I was disputing the claim and also provided a personal expenditure breakdown to show that I was only able to afford repayments of less than £3 per month (again, I was on a low wage.)

Two and a half months later, I had still had no response from HMRC, and as I was still receiving demands from their collection agents; Past Due Credit Solutions, I decided to contact HMRC to chase up my dispute response. Firstly, the advisor I spoke to tried saying that they hadn't received the dispute and then she told me that they had received it and that the relevant departmental manager will respond to me soon. Two weeks later, I received a response from HMRC firstly stating that they sent me a statement of account notice on 10th August 2012 showing details of the overpayment (I moved house mid-August) and because I did not respond within three months they are unable to consider my dispute. They have explained that the overpayments, which amount to around £11 per week over a space of six months, were added to an overpayment which was carried over from the previous tax year, again which I was completely unaware of and received no correspondence from HMRC to state that I owed this money. They also stated that they had received my personal expenditure breakdown and would pass this to their Debt Managment and Banking team to look into.

Now, I don't mind paying HMRC back if I am in the wrong, however I am not only being hounded by HMRC, I am being sent demand letters from Past Due Credit, despite me issuing them with a formal Cease & Desist notice when I had initially disputed the amount with HMRC. I have contacted them again today to inform them that should I receive any further correspondence from them, I will make a formal complaint to the OFT and Trading Standards. Their advisor firstly wanted me to confirm I was the person on the account by confirming my DOB with her (I have never given PDC my personal details!!) and then she had to discuss with her manager the premise of a cease and desist notice. Once she returned a couple of minutes later, she stated that because they had not received any indication from HMRC that my account was in dispute, they wouldn't be able to stop the demand letters from being sent. But as a gesture of goodwill, they would hold off on any correspondence being sent for 30 days. She refused to comment when I asked her if they were complying to OFT guidelines by doing this.

I am at my wits end with this, I know it is only £266 however I am on a low income and live by myself so can only really afford to pay them back at a stupidly low amount every month. Couple this with the fact that I lost my dad at the end of March as well as being made redundant three weeks ago, I'm a little anxious to say the least!

Can anyone provide any information on how best to proceed? I am still waiting for the DMB department at HMRC to respond to my expenditure statement so should I continue waiting for them to respond or should I contact HMRC again? Also what should I do regarding PDCredit? Thanks guys and gals! :mad::eek:


  • scotty34
    Blondebubbles - to clarify, I am not saying that I have never received any correspondence from them whilst claiming WTC, only that I didn't receive the correspondence from them stating they had overpaid and I owed them that money back, until three years after they had made the overpayment. My argument to them is that I was unaware that I had been overpaid or that I was even still receiving WTC from them (as the amounts were small weekly payments of less than £15 at a time so were hardly noticeable.) It was only when DWP got in touch with me with their "FINAL NOTICE" letter in July, that I started questioning them but basically, because I did not receive the letter from them about the overpayment at the time, they are not allowing me to dispute the claim due to more than three months passing between the overpayment notice and my dispute claim date.

    I have submitted a SAR to HMRC today to request all the information they hold on file for me. Hopefully this will shed some light on what the overpayment from the previous year was due to. I can't honestly say I've always been particularly good with paperwork so I might have missed something.

    OFT is now closed and has been replaced by FCA, that is what I meant in my original post. Apologies for the confusion.
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