Tax Credits – The Panic

Since my divorce I have needed to claim working tax credit and child tax credit in order to survive financially. I’ve been a tax payer since age 17 so claiming money back, as opposed to paying it, is a new experience for me.
I don’t particularly like it, but it’s necessary and I’m working hard on re-starting my career post-children so in the long term I’m hoping not to be a claimant for long. As it is, I’m already back paying tax again, albeit to a small degree!
I had a pay rise this year. Yay!
Which meant I had to call the tax credits helpline to update my income. I did so and after the horror of the automated phone system (honestly! Who thinks of these things? Bloody awful) I got my new award notice in the post today.
I glanced at it, looked at the bit where it said “you have been overpaid” and promptly panicked.
Overpaid?! How? I had to go out then to collect my children. The whole time I was out my brain kept returning to the tax credits letter. Overpaid? I owed how many hundred pound. Money I just do not have!

I got home and re-read the letter. Ah! They had carried on adding my self employed money from the previous tax year. Money I no longer received. Thank goodness for that.
I’ve called and corrected it now. But part of me is still anxious. I won’t know until next week whether I have actually been overpaid or not.
I really loathe not knowing exactly where I stand with my finances.

One thought on “Tax Credits – The Panic”

  1. I used to claim these when I was a single parent. Obviously they are a big help, but just be wary – I got overpaid by £800 one year. Nightmare paying it back.
    Once I got married I felt a bit relieved that I wouldn’t have to claim every year – despite being worse off personally without them. As long as you let them know your changes and read the letters carefully I’m sure you’ll be OK. :)

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