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overpayment by coucnil

De6De6 New MemberRegistered Posts: 9
One of my clients has been contacted by a council requesting an repayment of some money they allege they paid them back in 2007, they are now doing an audit (I almost certain that from my college days that audits were done at the year end).


Before I go trawling through records from 5 years ago does any know if this debt is to old to collect or has some sort of capping rule as with VAT now.

The previous bookkeeper was pretty useless so they could be correct. I just don't want to waste my time and my clients money unnecessarily

Many thanks

Deb.

Comments

  • jamesm96jamesm96 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 523
    Hi Deb,

    Yeah an audit would usually be carried out post year-end, but it's not impossible that the auditors discovered something older than that as a part of their procedures.

    If it were me I'd ask them for greater detail before I spent any time on it - ask them for details of when the payment(s) was / were made, which account was credited, what the purpose of the payment was. That should help you in finding any paperwork you need your end.
  • De6De6 New Member Registered Posts: 9
    Thanks James

    That what I was thinking,

    Deb
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    jamesm96 wrote: »
    Hi Deb,

    Yeah an audit would usually be carried out post year-end, but it's not impossible that the auditors discovered something older than that as a part of their procedures.

    If it were me I'd ask them for greater detail before I spent any time on it - ask them for details of when the payment(s) was / were made, which account was credited, what the purpose of the payment was. That should help you in finding any paperwork you need your end.

    I had a similar request for about £100 of rental income, after messing around for a while disputing things and requesting more information, we ended up with reams of correspondance and legal documents. It must have cost the council a fortune arguing their case..
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    Is it for overpaid housing benefit - that seems to be quite common in my experience?
  • peamanpeaman Well-Known Registered Posts: 123
    Not my specialist area, but I read the following from the limitations act 1980...

    'the debt will still exist and creditors are entitled to chase the debt indefinitely (even after the debt has become Statute Barred), however they can only use the legal system to recover the monies for up to 6 years after the last payment was made to the account.'

    And...

    'Council Tax

    If the Council Tax was due more than 6 years ago then the council are unable to ask the Court for a Liability Order (a liability order allows the council to deduct the Council Tax debt from your wages or benefits). However, it is unlikely that the council will have allowed this to happen, and they will usually have obtained a Liability Order before the 6 years are up.'

    So, it looks like the debt is not too old to collect, but I agree with the above, I would ask for details before paying anything.

    You never know, they may have made a mistake!
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