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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Income support, JSA and tax credits  →  Thread

Debt transfered to UC do you still have the right to go to TC adjudicator

RichardP
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Citizens Advice Cardiff and Vale

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Total Posts: 10

Joined: 8 June 2016

Hi - I was checking whether anyone had experience of this.

If a debt is transferred to UC and you are perusing a complaint to HMRC - have you still got a right to take the complaint to the adjudicator if necessary.

I have had letters from HMRC stating that any negotiations have to be then aimed at DWP debt management

Hope someone can throw some light on this

Best Wishes

Richard - Cardiff Citizens Advice

Mark Willis
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Welfare rights worker - CPAG in Scotland

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Total Posts: 123

Joined: 17 June 2010

Hi RichardP

I think the key factor in the Adjudicator investigating a case is that you have exhausted HMRC’s complaints process (first and second review), which presumably can include refusal to deal with a complaint. The AO has certainly looked into similar issues of buck-passing in previous reports.

See Case Study 7 in https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-adjudicators-office-annual-report-2021/the-adjudicators-office-annual-report-2021#hmrc-update-and-case-studies

Also Case Study 3 from previous year’s report https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/889793/The_Adjudicator_s_Office_annual_report_2020.pdf

“The requirement to transfer responsibility for collection of outstanding debts from HMRC’s tax credits to DWP’s Universal Credit has been a planned business activity for several years, which allowed time for HMRC to put policies and processes in place. However, we continue to see complaints because of gaps in guidance that should provide protection for vulnerable customers. Customer experience of current processes shows a continuing lack of focus by HMRC on the needs of individuals caught up in the transition between the departments. Unless there is a balance between consideration of business and customer need there will be delays in creating and implementing policy and
processes, to improve services for customers in difficulty. Such delays will inevitably increase complaints by customers who are impacted by the gaps in departmental policy.”

If it is negotiating the level of repayment due to hardship, that is DWP debt management, but questioning the debt itself would be HMRC.

Mark