Circular S03/2003

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    On case 4 shown in the above circular, which details a normal LA overpayment, can somebody tell me why the o/p is not recoverable.
    Surely we should still be able to apply Reg 99 (2), as I believe it could be argued that a person could reasonably be expected to realise that they have been overpaid, if they recieve an unchanged payment after informing the LA of an increase in income due to a NTC.


    Check paras 403 & 404 in “the guide to new tax credits”.

    The inland rev seem to be ignoring decades of case law on the subject and concluding that the claimant is unlikely to to know about benefit calculation errors.

    Presumably this is because the calc is “complicated”. Well aren’t they always?

    We’ll have to see what happens if someone appeals. I can’t see a tribunal being so relaxed about throwing out thousands of precedants.

    martin walmsley

    Has anyone any initial thoughts on this? – such as a feel for the amount of cases involved/ the number & amount of benefit o/p’s it might affect, and also whether or not taking up the option of classifying o/p’s as Departmental Error looks worthwhile.

    Any comments would be appreciated.


    I can not see that we have any option but to mark overpayments due to incorrect/incomplete information on proformas as Dept Error,if you system will allow

    We are now well into our new year payment cycles and so all new information coming in either over the helpline or from the customer is creating an overpayment. Most customers who are visiting the office still have not heard about their awards even though we have had a proforma – so how can they be responsible?

    As for the helpline when contacted they have not got a clue what a proforma or a predictable change is! Also, only prepared to deal with one query per tel call – even when put through to a supervisor and faxed them a copy of helpline number and advice around it – which again they had never heard of!

    Finally, is the Tax Credit Handbook now a finished document? I am still waiting for further advice on how we should be taking into account Tax Credits after 7 April which they have stated is on its way!
    Seems at the moment whacking the new Tax Credit award on from 7 April on all cases is the order of the day.

    martin walmsley

    It appears to me to be discretionary. Paragraph 12 states “LAs who wish to make use of this provision…”

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