If you're not happy with a tax credits decision, you may have the right to appeal. You'll normally have to appeal within 30 days of when the Tax Credit Office sent you their decision.
On this page:
There are a few steps you can take before appealing.
It's always worth trying to reach an agreement with the Tax Credit Office before making a formal appeal. This way, if they agree your award is wrong, they can make sure it's changed for you.
If you want to speak to someone about your tax credit award, call the Tax Credit Helpline.
You can get help and free independent advice from a number of organisations - for example:
You can also get advice from a solicitor or an accountant, but you'll have to pay for this.
The decision notice the Tax Credit Office sent you will tell you if you can appeal against the decision.
You can appeal when:
You can't, for example, appeal against a decision to ask you to pay back an overpayment. But you can appeal if you think the amount of tax credits you were awarded in the first place was wrong.
Where you've been asked to pay back an overpayment:
You may want to contact an independent adviser, such as your accountant or Citizens Advice, to discuss your options.
Usually the person who made the claim or who's been getting the tax credits makes the appeal. If you claim as a couple, only one of you needs to make the appeal.
You can ask someone like an independent adviser to help you by acting on your behalf.
If you're an appointee and claim tax credits for someone else, you can make the appeal for them.
Normally, you have to appeal within 30 days of when the Tax Credit Office sent you their decision. In special cases they'll give you more time but you must tell them your reason for making a late appeal.
The Tax Credit Office can't accept an appeal dated 13 months or more after they sent their decision. If they can't accept your late appeal, they will pass your request to an independent tribunal to decide.
Your appeal needs to be in writing and you can do this in one of the following ways:
You must say in your appeal what you think is wrong. You must also say which decision you are appealing against.
You will need to send your letter or completed appeal form to:
Tax Credit Office
If the Tax Credit Office hasn't already done so, they'll check that the decision is correct and explain it. If you're happy with the explanation you'll need to withdraw your appeal.
If you don't agree, or you don't think all the points in your appeal have been covered, your case can go to an independent tribunal.
The tribunal will be run by one of the following, depending on where you live:
The Tax Credit Office will set out their response to your appeal, explaining the law and the facts they used to make their decision. You or your representative will be sent a copy of their response.
If you want to know what happens after you've sent your appeal to the tribunal you can get more information from the relevant websites. To do this, follow the links below.
If anything changes that could affect your payments, you must let the Tax Credit Office know straight away.
Don't wait for the appeal hearing.
You can withdraw your appeal at any time by: