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Tax Credits

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total number of tax credit overpayments made to couples who have since separated is; and in how many such cases (a) overpayments are owed, (b) recovery of the whole of the joint liability is being pursued against one party only and (c) one party is untraceable. (113664)

At April 2006 there were about 350,000 claims originally made by couples, who are recorded as having split up by that date, and for which there were outstanding undisputed overpayments over £10 for either 2003-04 or 2004-05.

The other information requested is not available.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the expected response time is for customer calls to the Derby Debt Management Team of the Tax Credit Office on the telephone number 01332 724 403; what mechanisms are in place to prevent penalties arising due to customers not being able to make contact within set deadlines due to a lack of telephone line capacity; and if he will make a statement. (105433)

HMRC aims to answer calls promptly and additional resources were diverted to deal with the expected peak in calls at Derby recently. However, in some of these cases, where it had not proved possible to answer calls, the department has dealt with cases sympathetically and any costs charged in these circumstances have been written off.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2006, Official Report, column 360W, on tax credits, how many tax credit overpayments were successfully disputed in each month since April 2006. [109988]

[holding answer 18 December 2006]: For the number of tax credits overpayments written off on the grounds of official error from May 2006 to October 2006 inclusive, I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 10 October 2006, Official Report, columns 730-31W and the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 31 October 2006, Official Report, column 318-19W.

For October 2006 and November 2006, the number of tax credits overpayments successfully disputed—that is, where the overpayment was written off in full or in part by the tax credit office because of official error— was around:

2006

Number written off (fully or partially) (around)

October

1,000

November

1,000

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many compensatory payments were made in respect of tax credits in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was of these payments. (112990)

For the number and value of compensation payments made in 2003-04, the year that child and working tax credits were introduced, I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave the hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb) and to the hon. Member for the former Hamilton South constituency (Mr. Tynan) on 20 July 2004, Official Report, column 191W.

For the number and value of compensation payments made in 2004-05, I refer to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 4 July 2005, Official Report, columns 95-96W.

For the number of compensation payments made in 2005-06, I refer to the answers that I gave hon. Member for Yeovil on 15 November 2005, Official Report, column l212W and 18 July 2006, Official Report, columns 360-61W. For the value of compensation payments made in 2005-06, I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for North West Cambridgeshire (Mr. Vara) on 30 November 2006, Official Report, columns 843-44W.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit claimants received manual payments in each of the last five years. (112995)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many prisoners are in receipt of tax credits; and how much was paid in tax credits to prisoners in each year from 2003-04 to 2006-07 to date. (113666)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 844W.