HRMC Child Tax Credit - an absolute farce

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by mad_mac, Dec 2, 2007.

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  1. I have recently had the misfortune to be on the receiving end of this over complex, burdensome, time and paper intensive, maladministrative system.

    Allow me to explain as briefly as I can:

    I received my annual declaration form at the beginning of the year. After reading the covering latter it stated that “unless your circumstances have changed there is no need to return the forms and your award will be calculated automatically”. Great thinks I, no mindless form filling as HMRC are already fully aware of my income and tax details.

    Two months later I find that my child tax credits are cancelled. I telephoned the helpdesk who stated that I must fill in the forms. No problems, and I hastened to unarchive the relevant P60’s and transposed the information onto the form.

    Three weeks later I received another set of duplicate forms with instructions to fill out immediately. Another telephone call to the helpdesk and they verbally extracted my P60 details, entered them onto the computer and resumed payment. End of the matter, thank goodness, or so I thought!!

    Imagine my surprise some 6 months later (last week) when I received another set of forms to fill in. Yet another telephone call to the help desk and the monotonous task of providing income details were given for manual entry into the computer. "That`s it sorted at last" explains the gentleman on the phone. "Fan f?cking tastic" I felt like replying.

    2 days ago I received another letter thanking me for telling them of my “change of circumstances” and that my payments are stopping with immediate effect I should repay 2 years worth of child tax credit back to HMRC!!!!! (about £1000).

    Another telephone call ensued to the helpdesk. My point to the tax credit office was “my circumstances have not f*cking changed” so why cancel the payments and demand monies back. I received the rather glib response that the letter was automatically computer generated. I argued that in order to receive this letter someone from the tax office would be required to enter into the computer that my circumstances had changed, when point in fact, they hadn`t. My income threshold was unlikely to exceed £58000 in the near future (unless the AFPRB recommends a 300% pay rise to HMG) and my children cannot be kicked out of the house yet as they are both under 16.

    I explained that to date I had filled in 3 declaration forms and had supplied the same information on the telephone twice a grand total of 5 times!!!!!. Was HMRC’s modus operandi to stop me claiming through documental attrition?

    It was explained to me that only “Head Office” could reinstate the payments and my case was “flagged”. “Why was it reinstated last time without Head Office approval” I questioned. My response was some incoherent mumbling about computer system compatibility.

    The farce continues and in keeping with my avatar, if a response is not forthcoming from HMRC within 14 days, letters will start flying. If we had fought the two World Wars with the same degree of competency I would be goose stepping around my living room in black leather jack boots eating bratwursts.

    Has any other ARRSERS had the misfortune to deal with these faceless beaurocrats???
  2. msr

    msr LE

    Wouldn't it be so much easier just to not take it off people in the first place...

  3. Yes, they are a bunch of total CNUTS who dont have a clue what one office is doing and contradict themselves every time. I dont get any payments for my kids anymore because of their fcuk ups and unfortunately because most squaddies honestly fill their forms in they lose out. There are so many flaws in the system that they havent a clue how it works anymore. They might as well call it the UNHELPFUL desk.
  4. Certainly a valid point MSR. I tire of explaining to people that this Government is not "giving" me the money.

    It is merely paying back the excessive tax I have paid to start with. :evil:
  5. CTC was stopped when No 1 son started uni. I have had to pay back £385 for so called overpayment. They say I will get no more money for the rest of the tax year but may have to pay back "overpayment" of money I am not going to get!! How bizarre is that?
  6. If you are entitled, it is your money Iron.

    My brother had the misfortune to "cross swords" with these creatures over an £800 overpayment. The error was quite clearly by HMRC and he did not owe this money.

    2 years of threatening letters off HMRC, potential CCJ action, bailiffs and a whole host of strong arm tactics was the result. After writing to his MP, local paper etc it was finally sorted out.

    No letter of apology and £250.00 (which is the maximum) compensation. The cost in postage, telephone calls and legal advice far exceeded this. The psychological damage was incalculable, as this would have resulted in house repossesion etc.

    I would pursue these people until the ends of the earth purely on principle. :x :x
  7. Small Claims Court. If the compensation offered did not cover the actual cost of dealing with HMCR then, as long as you can show the actual costs, fill out Form N1 and sue via the Small Claims Court, long as you're not over £5,000. As quite clearly HMCR has admitted liability then you're laughing.

    As another point. It just goes to show how much of a f**Kwit Brown is. Who in their right mind would devise such a complex system when it would be far easier to grant you an annual tax allowance, say £2,000 a year extra per child and just not take the money in the first place? Or is that too simple for Herr Bottler?
  8. As a sideline,just think of the whole cost of this shambolic department,and the fact that we are paying for it as well,its self generating bullshite and very expensive bullshite as well,good luck to you mad_mac
  9. Know how you feel - ours was stopped 2 years ago when they overpaid my partner. It will not start again until April 2008 and its for only a stupid amount of £20! It makes you wonder who this countries really for. Those who have served queen and country and decent people or any scrote who decides to break into the country and says he has 6 wives and zillions of brats! Someone should take out a fatwa against broon.
  10. It really does make me wonder first of all what do all these people exactly do over there, how the hell they manage to bugger it up so royally and do we really need that many people if we're doing it right? I can't find it but there was a comment article, in the Times I think it was, a few weeks back when the Child Benefit data discs went missing that was bemoaning the fact of how bloated and****ed up things were and contrasting it with the old India Office that helped run British India. The general point they were making was they we were able to run a department that looked after a subcontinent, excluding the people in India itself but just the head office in London, with only two or three hundred people if I remember the figures rightly. Now granted things have changed somewhat and today's modern world is a bit more complicated but it certainly makes you think doesn't it?
  11. Rather than the whole department being to blame is this not just the case of Mad Mac's tax office.

    I've always done the same as MM and never bother to fill in the forms because my circumstances have not changed and i have had no problems.

    On other tax issues i have contacted them and they have always been bob on and really helpful.
  12. The Tax credits fiasco affects everyone in the UK not just service personnel, I regularly see working single parents, of both genders, who have been hit with an overpayment of several thousand pounds and they rely on this money as the minimum wage of £5.55 barely pays the rent.
    You need to appeal the decision arguing that its official error and that you supplied the correct data several time & they messed up. Also get in touch with your MP as this is a wesminister controlled issue.

    As for the comment - is this not just the case of Mad Mac's tax office -no its the fault of the government (of both sides) for setting up a crap system, with temp staff who get so much abuse that if they stay for 6 months its a miracle. If every person on the phone shouted abuse at you I doubt you'd work there, also the wages paid to the front line staff in the tax credits office mean that they also have to claim them to top up their wages - in other words they are paid between £9K & if you last 1 year it goes up to £10K. All politicians want the civil service staff cut but they cut the lower paid staff first rather than going for the managers, get rid of one politician and you'd have a minimum of £50K free funds, rather than sack the manager they take 6 workers off the phones and wonder why the public get more abusive.

    Do the appeal letter & contact the CAB for advice on how to go through this as it gets worse before it gets better and involve your MP
  13. Nice post curve. I do believe the child tax credit fiasco can be blamed on one man and his name is Gordon Brown, just one more contribution from him that has made this country the laughing stock of the world.
  14. As much as people like to take a default setting that the whole of the HMRC is infallable and errors are of my making, this is not the case. I too have for several years enjoyed hassle free claiming, until recently.

    I am not adept at working out complex taxation computations, although I am fiscally aware enough to know when I am in the right. Once an error occurs in an individuals tax claim, (due to either form filling errors or HMRC imput error) it is a mountain to climb to resolve.

    I personally scan all correspondence in and out of my household, and have seen absolutely no errors in the transposition of my (and my wifes) P60 information. Its easy to blame the individual rather than the big governmental organisations.

    I am pleased that you have had "hassle" free claiming for some years and hope that you do not become "flagged" by HMRC as the attitude of this Dept is that they are correct even though the correct information has been supplied on 5 different occasions.

    Typing in "child tax credit farce" into google and reading the resulting news reports may indicate that this Dept has suffered from systemic failings for many years.
  15. I have written to the tax credit office and placed a copy on file for future reference. A complaint referring to a telephone conversation bears little weight as opposed to evidence in documentary form.

    As stated earlier, I will wait the required 14 days (inclusive of 2 working days either side to allow for postage) and then reassess the situation.

    Life deals enough problems as it is, without a protracted battle with HMRC. I take little comfort in the telephone reassurances from HMRC, and intend to employ all resources at my disposal to warrant an expediant solution.