In this section:
If the Tax Credit Office pays you too much in tax credits, they may decide that you have to pay the money back. If they made a mistake or gave you incorrect advice, you can ask them to reconsider their decision that you have to repay it. This is called a 'dispute'.
On this page:
To dispute your overpayment you can fill in and return form TC846. You can get the form by following the link below.
Or you can write to:
Tax Credit Office
In your letter you'll need to give the same information as on form TC846.
You have three months to make your dispute. This starts from the date on your 'final' award notice for the last tax year - it has the heading 'Final tax credits decision'.
You might not have a final award notice if your claim was renewed automatically. If so, the three months starts from the decision date on your Annual Review notice that you got after the end of the tax year.
A tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next.
Your notice might show different overpayment amounts from different years. The same time limit applies to each overpayment shown.
You may have made an appeal against your tax credits decision. You have three months from the date on the letter giving you the decision of your appeal.
The Tax Credit Office can sometimes consider late disputes. But this is only if you couldn't reasonably have made your dispute within three months - for example, you were in hospital for that time.
Once the Tax Credit Office has received your form or letter, they'll write to tell you what'll happen next. They will continue to recover the overpayment whilst they look at the details of your dispute.
The Tax Credit Office looks at whether you have met certain responsibilities, and whether they have too. For example, they check that:
The Tax Credit Office may write off some or all of your overpayment if you met all your responsibilities - but they didn't meet theirs. For example, if you told them about a change of circumstances but they did not deal with it within one month, or gave you incorrect advice.
If you told the Tax Credit Office you couldn't check your award notice or bank payments because of exceptional circumstances, you might not have to pay back an overpayment. For example, if you or a family member were seriously ill in hospital.
When the Tax Credit Office has made their decision they'll write to tell you if:
They'll also tell you the reasons for their decision.
If you're unhappy with their decision and you've got some new information, please write and tell them as soon as possible.
The Tax Credit Office may also review your case if you feel that they have not taken into account previous information you gave them.
If you haven't got new information but you are still unhappy with their decision, you can talk to an organisation like Citizens Advice or Community Legal Advice. They'll help you consider your options.