As I said before, You can’t appeal against the decision telling you that there is an overpayment: however you can appeal the decision that reduced the amount you were entitled to.
One possible example is that they have reduced your childcare costs and that although you agree that they should be reduced, you think that they have reduced them too far.
In a nutshell, the procedure works like this:
- You cannot appeal without first asking the Tax Credit Office to look
again at your case: this is called asking for a mandatory
- If the Tax Credit Office does not change its mind, you then have to
send in your appeal, but you have to send it direct to the Tribunal
Service, not to the Tax Credit Office.
Stage 1: Ask the Tax Credit Office for a mandatory reconsideration
To request a mandatory reconsideration, you should use the form WTC/AP, which is available from gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/464036/WTCAP.pdf
When you come to give your reasons for appealing make it simple and clear. DO tell them why you think their decisions are wrong.
- REMEMBER that you are appealing against their decision to reduce your tax credit entitlement, not against their decision to ask for the money back (because that is not appealable).
- DON’T write lots of stuff about how the decision has made it hard for you: sadly, it’s not relevant
- TRY and keep a copy of the form: it may make things easier later.
Make sure your request for a mandatory reconsideration reaches the
Tax Credit Office by the deadline. This deadline is 30 days (not a
calendar month) from the date the decision was sent to you.
If you miss this deadline, the Tax Credit Office may accept your appeal, provided it is less than 13 months since the decision was made, and their are good reasons for the delay. The longer the delay is, the better the reasons will have to be.
Stage 2: Wait for the Tax Credit Office Plus to look at your request
How long will this take? Unfortunately the law just says that they must do this 'as soon as is reasonably practicable'.
may write to you asking you to give further reasons and evidence
for your case. If you want to respond and have more evidence by
all means give it to them, but don’t feel obliged to. Don’t agree
to settle if you haven’t got what you want!
If you don't agree to settle, or don't provide documents they ask for, they have to send you a response to your reconsideration request, which then gives you the right to take your appeal to an independent tribunal.
Remember that even if the Tax Credit Office thinks that you must give it written evidence of something for it to change its mind, a tribunal might not agree.
When the Tax Credit Office has finished its work it will write to you to tell you what it has decided. It could:
- Change its decision to one you agree with;
- Leave its previous decision unchanged;
- Change its decision to one you are partly happy with, but partly disagree with.
Unless the Tax Credit Office changes its decision to one entirely in
your favour, you will now need to make your appeal.
Stage 3: Appealing to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service
You now need to appeal directly to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service, or the Tribunal Service for short.
- You should use the form SSCS5 which you can find here:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/sscs005-eng.pdf
- Where it asks for your 'grounds for appeal' you could say 'see attached letter' and include a copy of your letter to the Tax Credit Office, if you have kept one. If you haven't, make sure you include all the reasons you put in your previous letter.
- Send the form off to the Tribunal Service at the address they give you, together with your letter to the Jobcentre Plus (if you've referred to it) and one of the copies of the reconsideration letter that the Jobcentre Plus sent to you.
|At Section 6 of the appeal form it asks whether you want to attend a hearing of your case: you generally have better chance of success if you attend your hearing|
|Make sure your appeal form reaches the Tribunal Service by the deadline. This deadline is one month from the date the Tax Credit Office sends you its response to your request for a reconsideration . So if the date on the Tax Credit Office letter is 1st May you should make sure your appeal reaches them before 1st June. Sometimes your request can be accepted even though it was late. Click here for more information about this.|
When the Tribunal Service receives your appeal it will ask the Tax Credit Office for all the papers relating to the case. At some point a copy of these papers will be sent to you. This is called your appeal bundle.
|Don’t lose your appeal bundle. Don’t get the pages out of order.|
Stage 4: Prepare for the appeal hearing, wait for an appeal date, and attend the hearing
This is a special subject in its own right, and so deserves its own set of pages: click here to be taken to them…