How to Dispute a Tax Credit Overpayment: Step 1b

Step 1b: Claim Your Data

While you are waiting for a response to your TC846, claim your data by submitting a Subject Access Request (SAR) under the Data Protection Act (1998). You can use our "Subject Access Request" template letter to do this.

Send your SAR letter to:

Group 7, Area F
Floor 1 St. Marks House
St. Mary's Street

HMRC have to send you all relevant case information they have on your Tax Credits awards. This may or may not include disc copies of any phone calls you made that they recorded.

While you are waiting for them to supply your data, use any notes you have or any details you remember to rough out what you know in date order.

If they delay in supplying your data, or no calls have been supplied, or there seems to be other information missing, you can complain to HMRC and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Send our "Missing Data Complaint" template letter with the aim of forcing HMRC to supply it.

What SAR Data Will You Receive?

When you receive your data, it will probably be a bundle of around 200 to 300 A4 photocopies that look mainly repeated and gibberish.

Typically half of these pages are plain text print outs containing claimant personal data such as names, ages, family, N.I. numbers. Usually I find these bits pretty useless.

‘Screen captures’ (they look like a photocopy of a computer screen) will hold the most detail. There should also be copies of any letters sent or received about your award and dispute.

Copies of any forms sent, such as Income Declarations and TC846 (see Dispute Step 1a) forms. Unfortunately, application forms and award notices aren't usually included, so you're not able to tell whether HMRC actually input the data from these forms correctly.

An abbreviation key, so that you can translate some of the jargon on the data. It's actually quite rare to receive these, but if you didn't get one, we have an online Abbreviation Key here.

A compact disc containing copies of any recorded phone calls you made to HMRC about your Tax Credits award. They may not have copies of any calls you made, or they may have just decided to not send them even if they do have them. To demand calls if they are not supplied, use our "Missing Data Complaint" template letter.

HMRC are notorious for missing out the one bit of data that would prove that you were right and they were wrong. So, if they don't respond or don't send the missing data after you've contacted them about it, complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) with the aim of forcing HMRC to supply it.

It is typically copies of calls that go missing. Either because they were answered by a section that do not record calls, or because of 'technical errors' that HMRC claim now make the calls 'irretrievable'.

While you're waiting for your data to arrive, have a look at Step 2 to see what to expect next in Dispute Step 2.