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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, I have one unresolved issue with HMRC linked to the

Customer Question

Hello, I have one unresolved issue with HMRC linked to the benefits 'overpayment' debt. Briefly: i've been receing housing benefit&child tax credit for round 3 years betw. 2008-2011 whilst living with my partner and our son in rented flat here in London/UK. We came to UK from Czech republic at 2007. Since then I live in UK. Our son was born here in 2007. Me and my partner split in 2011 and I moved out from our rented property. My ex-partner started to claim all benefits on her name ( before it was all on my name). When she made a new claim whilst filling in New forms she put a figures of our previous benefits. Our previous benefits included both 'housing benefit' + 'working&child tax credit'. Previously I was always the one who was filling the forms and whilst I was filling the form I didn't include the information that we are receiving both benefits. Not purposely but out of my ignorance. I was knew in UK and didn't know all the info what to put in the forms also my English wasn't the best so I didn't understand all required questions properly. Anyway what happened is: because I didn't include the info about receiving child tax credit we were basically receiving a higher amount of housing benefit for 1 year which I wasn't any aware of..finally I just received a letter with request to pay back around need to say it was quite shocking based on my income possibilities. I however started to repay this 'debt' back to hmrc. Which lasted for about 5 month then I noted that they are having a wrong figures because I was doing tel. based transactions and they had a different amount of paid back money then what was the real amount paid by me. Which made me quite frustrated and I eventually ended up in not paying anything anymore. The dept remained at £2500. This amount has never been cleared by me. Later on I became married and my wife joined me here in UK in 2012. We have a daughter together which was born here in UK in 2012. We have never claimed any benefits anymore. Based on my previous bad experiences I decided not to claim any support though we have definitely been entitled to. We didn't claim a child benefit either for the amount of 2 years. I would really wish to sort out my debt of £2500 and wondering if the fact that we didn't claim any benefits with my wife would play some role and could reduce the debt amount? I have been working full time all those 7 years as a self employed have all tax returns properly done etc..Many thanks on any possible ideas what steps would be the best to take further in order to resolve this issue. Sorry for long text but had to explain the details.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether you accept you have been overpaid?

JACUSTOMER-78m3qi19- :

Hello Alex, thank you for getting back. The answer is actually yes and no..yes because they did a calculation not having all the info required but no because 1, I didn't know this fact, means I didn't take any advantage of it for myself. 2, All these money went directly to a landlord and honestly we were struggling anyway to manage financially with only one ( my) income of less then average value at that time.

JACUSTOMER-78m3qi19- :

Simply put if you give to a hungry person a slice of bread and he eats it because it is his only survival and then u ask him to give you a half back, he has to go to get that bread again from someone else because he has no bread to give you from. And he was far from being full after eating your bread so has such a person been given 'more then he deserved'?

JACUSTOMER-78m3qi19- :

Sorry for maybe stupid answers i'm just trying to understand what was our situation and why it was difficult for me to take it as a 'debt' or overpayment..

Alex Watts : Did you appeal the decision?
JACUSTOMER-78m3qi19- :

No never, i was very unexperienced and didn't really know what steps to take

Alex Watts : What date was the decision notice?
JACUSTOMER-78m3qi19- :

I don't have the letter with me but it was October 2011, I stopped repayments in early 2012 ( March probably) since that time I've been receiving post reminders (ignored them) and then I eventually changed my address so not receiving anymore

Alex Watts :

Did you inform them that you had changed address?

JACUSTOMER-78m3qi19- :

Hi i checked the letter and the last notice was made on 21 March 2011, i can resend the letter in attachment tomorrow, i didn't inform them about the address change. I didn't want to stay notified..sorry for my delayed response i was travelling abroad today so no internet access..

Alex Watts :

Ok, if you can attach it that would be great.

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