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Challenging a Tax Credit decision - Ask for an explanation about Tax Credits

If you think a tax credit decision is wrong, you may be able to get the decision changed.

Ask for an explanation about Tax Credits

You should ask for an explanation of the reasons for the decision if you are unsure whether the decision is right or if you want more information to help you challenge the decision.


Telephone the tax credit office using the contact details on your decision letter and ask for an explanation for the decision.You should be aware that the time limit for challenging a decision and disputing a decision will still run while you are asking for an explanation and you should be careful that you do not miss the deadline.

You should also tell them why you think the decision is wrong as they may be able to change it without needing to go any further.

If your first language isn't English, the tax credit office should provide an interpreter to explain the decision.


If you telephone the tax credit office, make a note of:

  • the date and time you call

  • who you speak to

  • what is said. 

This may come in useful if you want to try to get the decision changed.

Time limits

You should ask for an explanation of the reasons for the decision as soon as possible as there are strict time limits if you want to go on to challenge the decision.

Possible outcomes

This action should help you understand the reasons for the decision.

An explanation will usually be provided by telephone.

After receiving the explanation, you may think the decision is correct or you may think the decision is wrong, for example, because it was based on information that was wrong or they did not have all the information, in which case you should tell them.

They may be able to change the decision and send you a new decision letter without you needing to go any further, or they can explain what you can do next.

If you still think the decision is wrong, you can ask to have the decision looked at again.

Reviewed April 2022

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