HM Revenue and Customs initiates court action only as a last resort.
The number of court actions initiated through county court (England and Wales)1, sheriffs court (Scotland) and magistrates court (Northern Ireland) from January 2009 to March 2009 for the recovery of tax credit over-payments are provided in the following table.
Court cases January 2009 1,226 February 2009 636 March 2009 338
1 For England and Wales these figures relate only to actions commenced centrally and exclude actions commenced by local HMRC debt pursuit offices where it is not possible to readily disaggregate tax credit cases from the total number of local initiated court actions.
For information for November and December 2008, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on 9 February 2009, Official Report, column 1632W.