‘I got back £4,300 just by checking my tax code was right’

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HMRC repaid a woman thousands after she discovered she was taxed as if she received child benefit

Check your tax code carefully because if yours is wrong, you may be due a refund of hundreds or even thousands of pounds. That was the message this week from Wendy Davidson*, who was recently sent a cheque for £4,300 by HM Revenue & Customs. She discovered it had been taxing her as if she was receiving child benefit – even though her daughter is now 24 years old.

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In 2013, Davidson was earning about £55,000 a year as a civil servant and had a teenage daughter. That meant she was affected by the government’s high income child benefit charge, which was introduced at the start of that year and involved people’s child benefit cash being clawed back via the tax system.

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