An overpayment in the strict sense arises when the end-of-year renewal process has identified that too much tax credit has been paid during the year, based on the claimant’s income and circumstances as reported on the renewal papers. These are known as ‘cross-year overpayments’. But HMRC are also empowered to adjust an award during the year if, in their opinion, an overpayment is likely to occur by the year end. These are known as ‘in-year overpayments’ and may happen following a change of circumstances, or if provisional payments were set too high earlier in the year.

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