Money, money, money

Jul 29 • Featured • 884 Views • 5 Comments on Money, money, money

BCC (Before Credit Crunch) I rarely used to do more than glance at the Tax Credits notifications that landed on our doormat once a year. As long as our circumstances hadn't changed, that was that, and those terrible TV adverts with the annoying theme tune and the incredibly patronising voiceover made me want to switch off completely.

But the recession has made us much more vigilant – about bills, official looking letters, and watching where the money goes in general. So last week I decided to read our notification carefully, and was shocked to discover that they had us down as claiming £20,000 in benefits! Well, news to me, and the bank.

I rang the helpline immediately. 'Terribly sorry, madam,' the advisor told me cheerfully. 'Human error.' No kidding.

My advice is if you have a Tax Credits notification to check it thoroughly. If there aren't any changes you don't need to do anything – but if there are, you have until Friday to let them know.

written by Liz Jarvis


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5 Responses to Money, money, money

  1. samantha says:

    These guys drive me mad. With the kind of work I do mine and my husband’s circumstances are changing all the time – and every time we contact them to inform them we get a new set of tax credit details – each! My filing cabinet is bulging with the stuff and how exactly you make head or tail of what you are supposed to be getting and what they’re giving you is right is beyond me – and them it would seem. The usual response to how exactly the calculations are made is something along the lines of ‘computer does it’. well, my computer says no!!

  2. Tricia says:

    Just before we started living together hubby and I informed them of change in circustances…… we were then informed we had been over paid seperatly by over £2000 each….when I asked how come the lady said it was an error and she would correct it….when hubby rang he was told that his was correct and it would be reclaimed….. 4 years on and we are now repaying £2028.60 of this….. £3536.60 has already been claimed back last year…… £147.28 was collected from an earlier reward and we still have £1344.72 to go….. how could we have been overpaid so much when we (by their figures) are only being awarded £547.50 a year!!!!! when you try and appeal you never get a reply and if you ring them they can’t give you any information either……this system just like the CSA stinks….it doesn’t work and just causes untold stress and hardship

  3. Sharon says:

    It is the bureaucracy of large goverment departments – we’ve had the same problems. Just before my son was born I was sent a cheque for £390 as I’d been underpaid. I went and bought loads of baby essentials with it, just 2 days later they asked for it back as they said the cheque was sent in error!?! If I’d done that in my job I’d have been subject to disciplinary procedures – I wonder if this ever happens with all the Tax-pen-pushers? As also in my job if I answered the phone to a customer I was encouraged to "take ownership" of their issue and do as much as I could to help them – even if it was to put them in touch with the correct person, we were trained never to say "That’s not me, it’s a computer or wrong extension", I suppose that’s the difference between private & public sector workers!

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m quite a confident, articulate, intelligent person and this lot reduce me to a gibbering wreck every year. This year they claim we owe them £7000, despite agreeing last year we didn’t owe them anything and there’s no way they have even paid us anywhere near £7000. If they can do this to me, what are they doing to people less equipped to try and argue with them? The system is a great idea but run so badly it makes me want to weep.

  5. Jacqui says:

    I’m in the same boat as Samantha – mine and my partner’s incomes both vary greatly from year to year, so it’s a real hassle to sort out. Plus, my partner doesn’t file his tax return until after the tax credit renewal is due, so I never know what to put on the forms. I always try to over estimate, so we don’t end up owing them money! I know every bit helps, and I’m grateful for ever penny, but sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the hassle!!


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