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Welfare Tax Credits: Overpayments

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether there is a value at which a tax credit overpayment would be considered unreasonable in a situation in which there was no official error and the claimant had notified HM Revenue and Customs of the relevant change of circumstance. (160363)

HMRC’s policy on recovering overpayments is set out in Code of Practice 26: “What happens if we pay you too much tax credit?”

I announced to the House on 18 October 2007, Official Report, column 944, that as part of that, HMRC will be replacing the reasonable belief test with a clearer test that will set out customers’ responsibilities for checking factual information.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the largest tax credit overpayment waived was in the financial year (a) 2006-07, (b) 2005-06, (c) 2004-05 and (d) 2003-04; (160365)

(2) how many tax credits overpayments waived were worth (a) under £1,000, (b) £1,000 to £1,999, (c) £2,000 to £2,999, (d) £3,000 to £3,999, (e) £4,000 to £4,999, (f) £5,000 to £5,999, (g) £6,000 to £6,999, (h) £7,000 to £7,999, (i) £8,000 to £8,999, (j) £9,000 to £9,999 and (k) over £10,000 in the financial year (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06 and (iv) 2006-07.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions one unit of HM Revenue and Customs has indicated an intention to take court action, a claimant who had already reached a repayment agreement with another unit of HM Revenue and Customs in relation to a tax credit overpayment. (160367)

The information is not available. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has processes in place to prevent different actions taking place on the same debt and if this occurred in error would only record such an incident on the individual case.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions tax credit claimants who had submitted documentary evidence of their wage have had their income registered as nil by HM Revenue and Customs and subsequently been overpaid. (160368)

The information requested is not available. Guidance notes included in tax credits claim packs and notes which accompany annual declaration forms provide step by step instructions telling customers how to calculate their income for tax credits purposes and where to record it on their forms.