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Tax Credit overpayments

You can’t appeal against a decision asking you to pay back a tax credit overpayment, even if the overpayment was the result of HMRC making an error.

If you think that HMRC made a mistake or gave you the wrong advice and that led to the overpayment, you can dispute the overpayment.


You can dispute the overpayment by:

If you decide to dispute an overpayment by writing to the tax credit office, make sure you include the following details:

  • Your full name and contact address
  • Your national insurance number
  • The date of the overpayment decision you are disputing
  • When the overpayment is said to have happened - the tax year or period 
  • Why you are disputing the overpayment - detail any actions you have taken or contact you have made to make sure your award is correct, also detail the mistakes HMRC have made or the advice they gave you that led to the overpayment, include dates and names where possible
  • Your signature.

Time limit

You have up to three months from the date you were sent the decision that you have been overpaid to dispute recovery of that overpayment. This is usually when you receive your final award notice for the year.


Though you can't appeal against an overpayment you can appeal if you think the amount of tax credits you were awarded in the first place was wrong.

See Challenging a tax credit decision

Date of publication: 2 September 2013

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