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Difficulty repaying overpaid tax credits?
If you've been overpaid, the Tax Credit Office usually ask you to pay back the extra money. But if that means you can't meet essential living expenses like rent, gas or electricity bills, call the Tax Credit Helpline to discuss your options.
If your payments have gone down
The Tax Credit Office might have reduced your tax credits to repay an overpayment. If you're struggling to pay essential living expenses because of this, get in touch with them as soon as possible to talk about your options. You can do this by calling the Tax Credit Helpline.
You'll be asked detailed questions about your circumstances. The Tax Credit Office may offer you a longer period in which to pay by changing the rate at which you pay back the money. If they do, it will take you longer to pay off your overpayment.
In exceptional circumstances they may write off your overpayment altogether.
If you've received a Notice to Pay
If you have an overpayment from a previous award, the Tax Credit Office will have sent you a Notice to Pay. This asks you to pay the full amount within 30 days. If you're not able to do this, you can arrange to pay back the money over 12 months.
If you still need more time to pay, get in touch with the Tax Credit Office by calling the Tax Credit Helpline. They can talk through your options, and may be able to:
- spread the repayment over a longer period
- put back the date they start to collect the money you owe them
So that the Tax Credit Office can make a decision on your repayments you'll need to tell them about:
- your family circumstances
- your income now and in the future
- your living expenses, for example rent, council tax, gas or electricity bills
- your savings, investments and other assets
- your other debts, for example mortgage repayments
- how long it will take you to pay back the overpayment
- whether you are repaying a previous overpayment or have recently repaid one
When they've made their decision, they'll tell you how much money you'll have to pay back and how long they'll give you to repay it.
In exceptional circumstances, they may be able to put recovery of the overpayment on hold until you are able to fully discuss your financial situation. For example if you or a family member are seriously ill. Or they may write off your overpayment altogether.
If you still need more time to pay, call the Tax Credit Payment Helpline on 0845 302 1429 to talk through your options.
More useful links
Provided by HM Revenue and Customs