This guide has information on tax credits appeals and complaints procedures. Check which tax credit appeal form to use and how to dispute a decision or an overpayment.
TAX CREDIT APPEAL: There are several different options for handling tax credits disputes and disagreement procedures.
If you feel there is a need to pursue action you can choose to:
First Step: Contact the tax credits helpline if you think the Tax Credit Office is the one who made the mistake.
You must always inform the Tax Credit Office about any changes affecting tax credits. But, even when you inform them on time there can still be an overpayment.
As a rule, you must repay overpaid tax credits. But, they will continue to reclaim any overpayments while they review your dispute.
Disputing tax credits will have a better outcome if their office made the mistake. Follow all the same disputation procedures even if you no longer get tax credits. You can dispute a tax credit overpayment online or by post.
Fill in the government tax credit dispute form TC846 if you feel you should not have to pay back the money.
There are deadlines for disputing tax credits. Send the dispute form to them within 3 months of either:
Sending in the tax credit dispute form after the 3 month deadline is sometimes allowed. But it is only accepted in exceptional circumstances. An example would be if you got hospitalized for that particular 3 month period.
A similar process applies to those who requested a mandatory reconsideration. In this case, send in the tax credit dispute form within 3 months of getting the reconsideration decision.
Following this you will receive a dispute decision letter informing you:
In cases where you still disagree with the decision you can:
You should do this within 30 days of getting your dispute decision letter. In most cases they will review the decision one time only.
Note: Government statistics show less than 10% of tax credit disputes are successful. You can also contact Citizens Advice if you do not have any new information but still feel unhappy with the decision.
The Tax Credit Office should be your first contact if you think something is wrong with your tax credits. They will check your award notice and in some cases they can change it to fix the error.
What happens if they cannot change it or you still feel there is an error? Mandatory reconsideration may be an option in some cases. Fill in the tax credit appeal form WTC/AP and mail it to their office within 30 days of getting your award notice.
What should you do if you still disagree with their result? You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you live in England, Wales, or Scotland.
Note: The tax credits appeal process is different in Northern Ireland. Use the Appeals Service Northern Ireland.
The kind of things people complain about include unreasonable delays or the way they got treated. You have an option to complain online if you have a Government Gateway account.
You can also write to the Tax Credit Office or call them. Note that telephoning about tax credit complaints usually gets dealt with quicker.
When you make the complaint, be sure to write the heading word 'complaint' on your letter and include:
They will tell you when you should expect a response. What happens if you still do not agree with their reply?
In this case you should ask the Tax Credit Office to review their response and send you a final decision. If you are still unhappy with the final decision you can get further help from the Independent Adjudicator.
Note: If the result proves to be a mistake made by the Tax Credit Office you may be able to claim costs for your phone calls or postage.
Tax Credits Appeals, Complaints, Disputes, and Disagreements Procedures