Urgent Universal Credit warning as more than a million have payments slashed due to tax errors – are you affected? | The Sun

MORE than one million households on Universal Credit have had their payments slashed due to tax errors.

Households who were overpaid tax credits in the past by HMRC have had their Universal Credit (UC) payments cut over the last year, according to Sky News.

The Department for Work and Pensions has clawed back millions of pounds on HMRC's behalf from around 1.3million UC households, figures show.

Some households are paying back historical overpayments they never knew about, while others are the result of official errors.

The DWP has previously said that just 1% of credit overpayments were a result of a fraudulent claim.

This means that most people having money deducted are not to blame.


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A portion of the debt is automatically deducted from monthly payments, leaving households without enough cash to live off.

Almost 30,000 cases have also been referred to private debt collection agencies, according to reports.

The DWP has declined to comment and HMRC has been contacted by The Sun.

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Benefits experts website EntitledTo says claimants can challenge the decision.

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A spokesperson previously told The Sun: "Tax credits sadly always came with the risk of over or under payments but decisions can also be appealed or disputed if they’re wrong.

"Anyone can challenge the decision if they’ve received a demand letter and they don’t think they need to pay anything back.

"There are timeframes you need to follow though so get in touch quickly to ask what the debt is for.

"Then ask how you can challenge the decision if you’re not happy with the reply."

Citizen's Advice says you may have overpaid if the government have some wrong information about you, like:

  • you live with a partner when you don’t
  • you’re not self-employed when you are
  • you’re earning more than you are

You should explain why you think you have not been overpaid.

You can call the tax credits helpline if the reason for the overpayment is not clear on 0345 300 3900 and keep a record of the date and who you spoke to.

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You can challenge the decision by asking for what's known as a mandatory reconsideration.

If you've been contacted about a tax credit overpayment or are worried about debt, you can get free advice from StepChange and Citizens Advice.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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