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How we help: resolving tax credit problems caused by computer error

Last year Belfast HSC Trust experienced well publicised difficulties with its new IT payroll system.  This year, Tar Isteach referred to us a client who was having severe problems with tax credits as a result. She had been overpaid by the Trust and had immediately returned the overpayment. However, as the Trust system had notified HMRC of the original payment, she was asked to repay £4,500 in tax credits and HMRC stopped her weekly payment of £60.

Although the Trust payroll staff wrote twice to HMRC to explain that they did not know how to correct the figures on HMRC’s system, HMRC insisted it would not change its mind when it carried out a mandatory reconsideration.

We lodged an appeal against the overpayment and final award decisions.

We sent a letter before action to the legal department stating that unless our client's actual entitlement on her current earnings was paid within 14 days, we would seek a court order to compel HMRC to pay her.

On the fourteenth day the tax credit payment was made and our client was informed that arrears would be paid. 

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