Taxman relents on £10,000 demand

A single mother can finally look forward to Christmas after being told she will not have to pay back more than £10,000 demanded by the taxman.Jackie Burrows was landed with the huge bill and having her tax credits stopped in the run-up to the festive season.

A single mother can finally look forward to Christmas after being told she will not have to pay back more than £10,000 demanded by the taxman.

Jackie Burrows was landed with the huge bill and having her tax credits stopped in the run-up to the festive season.

HM Revenue and Customs said she had to pay back £10,027 in both working and child tax credits which it alleged she had wrongly received over the past two years.

But after being contacted by the media an urgent investigation was launched by HMRC and Mrs Burrows has been reassured that while her tax credits claim is still being reassessed the slate has been wiped clean and she will not have to pay back any of the money.

Last night she said: “I am really relieved and very pleased. It has all caused so much stress. If I had been told that I had had to pay them back I just do not know where I would have got the money from.”

The mother of three, who lives in Trunch, near North Walsham, and works as a receptionist at Cromer High School, says she is now looking forward to Christmas with the children, Ian, 14, Anita, 13 and Georgina 10.

Most Read

She receives £112 a week in child tax credits and £59 per month in working tax credits - money which she says forms a large part of he income.

The trouble started after she filled in a tax declaration form a couple of weeks ago and sent it back to HMRC.

“They then sent me a letter saying that there had been a mistake by them but they would not be asking me to pay the money back,” she said.

“I did not know how much it was then but I got another letter saying I would be asked to pay back more than £10,000.”

“They stopped my child tax credit and when I phoned them they said the letters were computer generated but I could appeal.”

The government's tax credit system launched in 2003 to great fanfare has been hit by a series of failures.

In July, the National Audit Office said losses from the system were “unacceptably high” after it found more than £1bn a year was being lost through fraud and errors.

A HMRC spokesman said it was unable to comment on individual cases but it was sorry for any trouble that Mrs Burrows was having. He confirmed the case had been urgently referred for investigation.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter