In this section:
The Tax Credit Office works out how much to pay you from what you tell them about your income and family circumstances. Sometimes they can pay you too much money - an overpayment. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
On this page:
You could have built up an overpayment if:
If you have been overpaid, this will be shown on your award notice.
Not telling the Tax Credit Office about a change in circumstances is one of the main reasons why people are overpaid tax credits.
When you tell the Tax Credit Office about a change in circumstances, they have to work your award out again. Your award may be re-worked for:
It's your responsibility to tell the Tax Credit Office about any changes in your circumstances. If you don't, they might not know about it until you're asked to renew your tax credits after the end of the year. At this point the Tax Credit Office checks whether the money you have received matches your income and circumstances. If you have received too much money then this means you have been overpaid.
Your tax credits are based on your personal circumstances. These are things like:
So it's important you give the Tax Credit Office the right details about your circumstances on your claim form.
If you're getting tax credits, the Tax Credit Office will normally send you a renewal pack between April and June each year. You use this to tell them if your circumstances or income have changed. The Tax Credit Office can then work out:
The deadline for renewing is shown in your pack - usually 31 July. The sooner you check your details and report any changes, the sooner the Tax Credit Office can make sure you get what you're entitled to. If you don't renew your tax credits:
When you claim tax credits for the first time, or tell the Tax Credit Office about a change, they will send you an award notice. It is their responsibility to put the right information on your award notice based on information you give them.
It is important that you check your award notice carefully when you get one - use the checklist that comes with it. If there's a mistake it may mean you:
You must tell the Tax Credit Office within one month if something is wrong, missing or incomplete. They will put it right and send you a new award notice. In this case, you may not have to pay back all of your overpayment.
If there's anything on your award notice that you don't understand, or you're not sure if there's a mistake, call the Tax Credit Helpline.
When you contact the Tax Credit Office to tell them about a change in circumstances, it's their responsibility to:
If you don't get an award notice within 30 days, you should tell them immediately. In this case, you may not have to pay back all of your overpayment.