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How do I know if I have been overpaid?

Couple 5 with form newIt sometimes isn’t easy to tell whether HMRC think you have been overpaid. You might receive a letter from HMRC telling you that you have been overpaid. It might also tell you how much the overpayment is and that you must pay it back straight away. Or, you might not receive a letter and instead, your tax credit payments may go down. If HMRC think you have been overpaid, they will say so on your tax credit award notice. These notices are the pages that HMRC send you after your first claim and again every time you report a change to them. They are normally 4-8 pages long and on the front have your name, address and the amount of your tax credits. Overpayments are normally shown in Part 3 next to where it says ‘amount due from you’.

Example of part of an award notice showing an overpayment of £200:

Part 3
Amount to be paid

Working Tax Credit £226.87
Child Tax Credit £5,774.16
Total. See Part 2 for details £6,001.03


Payments already made by us £6,529.85
Amount of overpayment from earlier years already
collected from payments made so far £100.00


Amount you have paid back to us for this award period £100.00
Amount due to you £0.00

Already collected from you £128.82
Amount due from you £200.00
Total due to you £0.00


We intend to collect this back from future award(s) by reducing your payments under section 29(4) of the Tax Credits Act 2002.

If you are still not sure if you have been overpaid, don’t worry. The notices they send are sometimes very hard to understand. Take your notice along to an adviser (see How to find an adviser) or contact the tax credit helpline on 0845 300 3900 (textphone: 0845 300 3909).

July 2013

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