To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many legal actions were instigated against tax credit claimants in respect of overpayments in each month of the last two years for which figures are available; and in how many cases in each month the claimant was continuing to dispute the claim.
Information on the monthly basis requested is not readily available and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.
Before instigating legal proceedings HMRC make a number of attempts (by telephone and a personal visit) to contact the customer. They also check to see if there is any existing dispute about the overpayment before commencing legal action. Where the issue of a court summons produces a defence claiming that the overpayment is in dispute proceedings are suspended until the claim is resolved.