Our Tax and Benefits Service helps client get debt suspended for one year

A client contacted Advice NI after receiving a letter from Child Benefit advising they had an overpayment of £5000.

The Full Picture

The client had continued to claim Child Benefit for four children even though all children had been removed from her care and she was no longer responsible for them. The client admitted she had been reluctant to contact any advice agency for help as she was embarrassed about both the overpayment and the removal of their children. The client was only working part-time and had rent arrears and other debts which they were already struggling to pay.

How We Helped

Advice NI contacted the Child Benefit Enhanced Services Team and after explaining the client’s predicament and their financial difficulties, managed to get the debt suspended and set aside for one year to allow for the client’s financial position to improve before they would have to commit to trying to pay another debt.

The Outcome

Without the assistance of Advice NI, the client would not have been aware of the ‘set-aside’ action that can be taken in some cases. The case also highlights the importance of Advice NI’s access to and relationship with HMRC Enhanced Services in supporting clients.’