TAX CREDIT APPEAL: There are several different options for handling tax credits dispute and disagreement procedures.
If you feel there is a need to pursue action you can choose to:
- Complain if you feel the treatment you received was unfair, delayed, or in some way discriminatory.
- Disagree with tax credit decision if you believe yours is wrong or their reconsideration was wrong.
- Dispute a tax credit overpayment decision if you receive notification to make a repayment.
First Step: Contact the tax credits helpline if you think the Tax Credit Office is the one who made the mistake.
How to Dispute Tax Credit Overpayment
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 tax credits 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 TC846 form if you feel you should not have to pay back the money.
Tax Credit Dispute Deadlines
There are deadlines for disputing tax credits. Send the tax credit overpayment dispute form to them within three (3) months of either:
- The ‘decision date’ given on your Annual Review notice.
- The date on the notice that informed you of the overpayment (e.g. first letter, statement).
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:
- Whether you must repay tax credits and the amount to pay.
- The reasons why the Tax Credit Office reached their decision.
In cases where you still disagree with the decision you can:
- Send new information to the Tax Credit Office.
- Ask for a review of any new information that you send to them.
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.
Disagree With Tax Credit 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.
How to Proceed with Tax Credits Complaints
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:
- Your National Insurance number, your full name, address, and your telephone number.
- The full details of what exactly happened and when it occurred.
- How you prefer to have your complaint settled.
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.