Dealing with your priority debts

​Tax-credit overpayments

Extra advice:

I cannot afford the repayments

If paying the tax credits back will cause you hardship, you may be able to reduce the rate at which you pay it back. You should speak to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and ask for time to pay it back at a rate you can afford. Ask for a copy of their code of practice What happens if you've been paid you too much. In cases of extreme hardship, or if there is evidence of mental-health problems, they can consider writing off all or part of the debt.

In some circumstances, you may be told that you have been overpaid Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit. If you do not agree that you have been overpaid, or that the amount is correct, you may be able to appeal. Contact us for advice.

Overpayments can be recovered in different ways, including deductions from your ongoing tax credits claim or your Universal Credit claim, by reducing your tax code or even through the same enforcement methods as a tax debt. In some cases, you can also agree in writing for deductions to be made from your benefits.

They may agree not to recover the overpayment if it is caused by a mistake by them and you have followed the rules for reporting any mistakes you spot and changes in your circumstances. Contact us for advice if you are in this situation.