In this section:
Difficulty repaying overpaid tax credits?
If you've been overpaid, we'll usually ask you to pay back the extra money. But if that means you are not able to meet essential living expenses such as rent, gas or electricity bills, please call us and we can discuss your options.
If your payments have gone down
If you're struggling to pay essential living expenses because we've reduced your tax credits to repay an overpayment, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to talk about your options. Call the Tax Credit Helpline on Tel 0845 300 3900 or textphone 0845 300 3909.
We will ask you detailed questions about your circumstances. We may offer you an option for extending the period over which you pay back the money by changing the amount we reduce your payments by each month. If we do, it will take you longer to pay off your overpayment.
In exceptional circumstances we may write off your overpayment altogether.
If you've received a Notice to Pay
If you have an overpayment from a previous award, we will have sent you a Notice to Pay asking 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 us so we can talk through your options. We may be able to:
- spread the repayment over a longer period
- put back the date we start to collect the money you owe us
So that we can make a decision on your repayments you'll need to tell us 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 we've made our decision, we'll tell you how much money you'll have to pay back and how long we'll give you to repay it.
In exceptional circumstances, for example if you or a family member are seriously ill, we may be able to put recovery of the overpayment on hold until you are able to fully discuss your financial situation. Or we may write off your overpayment altogether.
To discuss your options call the Tax Credit Payment Helpline on Tel 0845 302 1429.
You can contact our Tax Credit Helpline on Tel 0845 300 3900 or textphone 0845 300 3909 (open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, seven days a week except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day).