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Overpayment help!

in Benefits & Tax Credits
5 replies 472 views
Hi,

So I have just received a letter completely out of the blue saying I owe £1500 from 2010 / 11 / 12 for overpayments!
I have never claimed tax credits or universal credit and have been self employed for 25 years. My ex partner claimed tax credits, I moved out 5 years ago. 
This is my first and only letter from tax credits and they are demanding I pay this back and the lady on the phone said if I don't call DWP and sort this out they will "look at ways of recovering".
I am in shock to be fair, my first thought is are they timed out under the Limitations Act as this isn't a tax debt, it's an overpayment? Also they have never contacted me about this up until now. 
Crikey, what do I do?

Replies

  • edited 12 May at 4:09PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 12 May at 4:09PM
    You don't say who the letter was from but I am assuming HMRC in respect of a Tax Credit debt.

    If you were claiming Tax Credits when together it was a couple claim - it was not your ex that was claiming, it was both of you. Any overpayment that occurred is a debt owed by you both and HMRC will treat each of you as liable for half.

    Time limits apply to taking court action, not to the debt itself. For benefit debt it can always be recovered from future benefit (including your State Pension).

    You need to talk to them about a repayment plan.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Icequeen1Icequeen1 Forumite
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    Hi,

    So I have just received a letter completely out of the blue saying I owe £1500 from 2010 / 11 / 12 for overpayments!
    I have never claimed tax credits or universal credit and have been self employed for 25 years. My ex partner claimed tax credits, I moved out 5 years ago. 
    This is my first and only letter from tax credits and they are demanding I pay this back and the lady on the phone said if I don't call DWP and sort this out they will "look at ways of recovering".
    I am in shock to be fair, my first thought is are they timed out under the Limitations Act as this isn't a tax debt, it's an overpayment? Also they have never contacted me about this up until now. 
    Crikey, what do I do?
    As Calcotti says, they are only timed out of county court action. If the debt has been passed over to DWP then they will move towards an attachment of earnings order unless you agree a repayment arrangement. 
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    Icequeen1 said:.. If the debt has been passed over to DWP then they will move towards an attachment of earnings order unless you agree a repayment arrangement. 
    Presumably they can't do this for someone who is self employed.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • wheelie_haeswheelie_haes Forumite
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    calcotti said:
    Icequeen1 said:.. If the debt has been passed over to DWP then they will move towards an attachment of earnings order unless you agree a repayment arrangement. 
    Presumably they can't do this for someone who is self employed.



    No, they would just move straight to debt collection!
    Thanks for your help calcotti and Icequeen1, I have figured out what happened and been on the phone for an hour. Appreciate I was part of a claim a decade ago, although quite how it took them so long to find me is baffling - I have put a tax return in for the last 25 years so I am not exactly flying under the radar! Just set up a 12 month plan and it's all sorted now, cheers
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    wheelie_haes said: Appreciate I was part of a claim a decade ago, although quite how it took them so long to find me is baffling -
    You are not alone. Chasing debt was not a priority at one time but was made so a few years ago so there are lots of people now being chased for this historic overpayments.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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