Tax credits overpayments

If you cannot afford your repayments

You can ask to repay what you owe over a longer period of time if you’re having financial difficulty. This will mean you pay less each week or month.

You may be asked about:

  • any savings and income you have - including benefits and pensions
  • your living expenses - including rent, mortgage or childcare payments and household costs
  • any other repayments you have to make - including loans, credit cards and utility bill repayments

How you ask for your repayments to be reconsidered depends on whether you still get tax credits, Universal Credit or neither.

If you still get tax credits

If HMRC has reduced your tax credits to pay back an overpayment, you can ask them to reconsider:

  • online - you’ll need to set up a Government Gateway account if you do not have one
  • by phone

If HMRC give you more time to pay back what you owe, this will mean they take less money from your tax credits each week or month.

You’ll usually receive a decision within 14 working days.

If you’re still having financial difficulty at the end of the financial year (5 April), you’ll need to ask HMRC to reconsider your payments again.

If you’ve moved to Universal Credit

Contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Debt Management centre if you cannot afford your repayments.

DWP Debt Management contact centre
Telephone: 0800 916 0647
Textphone: 0800 916 0651
Calling from abroad: +44 (0)161 904 1233
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm
Saturday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

If you do not get tax credits or Universal Credit

Call the tax credits payments helpline to ask HMRC to reconsider.