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Tax Credit Briefing discussion

edited 15 June 2010 at 2:34PM in Benefits & Tax Credits
290 replies 89.9K views
Former_MSE_WendyFormer_MSE_Wendy
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edited 15 June 2010 at 2:34PM in Benefits & Tax Credits

This is to specifically discuss the
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  • roger196roger196 Forumite
    611 posts
    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.
  • Lynn1303Lynn1303 Forumite
    11 posts
    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:
  • 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?
  • 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 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::mad::rolleyes:

    Your comments and advice will be much appreciated.
  • cooldudecolcooldudecol Forumite
    784 posts
    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?
  • KevinGKevinG Forumite
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    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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  • 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.
  • cooldudecolcooldudecol Forumite
    784 posts
    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.
  • CarolynVCarolynV Forumite
    1 posts
    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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