Taxman admits defeat

A grieving family given five days to repay £6,000 in wrongly paid tax credits after a tax office blunder were celebrating today after the slate was wiped clean.

A grieving family given five days to repay £6,000 in wrongly paid tax credits after a tax office blunder were celebrating today after the slate was wiped clean.

Ken and Karen Henry were told by tax officials last week if the money was not paid back by today they would face court action. The money was technically overpaid following the death of the Henry's four-month-old son Scott.

But earlier this morning the tax office rang Mrs Henry, 34, to inform her they had decided to cancel the debt.

She said: "I can't believe it's finally over.

"I'm chuffed to bits and can't begin to explain how happy I am and what a relief this is.

"We can finally put the memory of our son to rest, enjoy our daughter, and most importantly move on."

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The Henry's agony began in January 2003 following the cot death of Scott.

His devastated parents set about trying to put the pieces of their lives back together and notifying authorities.

But when Mr Henry, 42, picked up his first pay packet after the tragedy he noticed he was still receiving working tax credits.

Mrs Henry immediately informed the tax office of their mistake and they acknowledged they had seen a copy of Scott's death certificate.

They were told they were entitled to carry on receiving the credits until the day Scott would have been one in September 2003.

This amounted to almost £6,000, which is the sum the tax office were trying to claim back.

During this time Mrs Henry repeatedly rang the office to check they had not made a mistake, and they assured her they had not.

And from October 2003, until last Thursday, the couple, who live in Dilham, near Stalham, with their 17-month-old daughter Freya, heard nothing from them.

But then a letter demanding immediate payment of £5,923.77 within five days landed on the doormat.

The EDP highlighted the Henry's plight and while on Friday night the tax office admitted they had made a mistake they still insisted the money needed to be paid.

But in a sudden turnaround this morning Mrs Henry received a call from the tax office saying they had decided to drop the debt.

Mrs Henry said: "It's a giant weight off our minds. I rang my husband and he was just as thrilled.

"This has been going on for four years and now finally justice has been done and our lives can begin."