A CATALOGUE of tax credit errors has left a York barmaid and her family in misery with a £5,000 debt.

Mother-of-three Adele Headley, 33, who earns £79 a week doing part-time bar work, has been sent a letter from the Inland Revenue demanding she pay back £4,933 in overpaid tax credits.

Miss Headley, of Bismarck Street, off Leeman Road, said she had no idea how she would pay it back.

The Evening Press reported last week how the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is championing thousands of York and North Yorkshire families who have been told to pay back £25 million in tax.

York CAB's Rosemary Suttill, who has written a report on the tax credits system, said they were offering help and advice to people who had fallen victim to a blunder by Government officials which meant a staggering 25,100 households across the country were given too much working and child tax credit.

In York alone, 5,800 families must pay back £5.7 million - an average of £983 per household.

The Inland Revenue blamed the problem on computer errors and family circumstances.

Miss Headley, who has three children, Kelly, 12, Connor, ten and 14-month-old Brandon said she had kept the Inland Revenue abreast of changes in her circumstances, but was told she was being paid the correct amount.

Meanwhile, a young Ryedale family has been left in financial dire straits after a catalogue of tax credit errors have left them in debt.

Parents Karen and Craig Holmes, aged 28 and 23 respectively, of Lime Tree Avenue, Malton, have had their lives made a misery by the Inland Revenue, after a series of computer glitches meant their working families and child tax credits were overpaid - to the tune of £2,368.

Mrs Holmes said she was informed by the Inland Revenue that she was owed £2,368, so she sold her Rover 220 GT car and planned to use part of the money to upgrade it.

But days later the family received a letter claiming they owed £2,368, because they had been overpaid on their tax credits.

"I sold my car thinking that I would be able to buy another one, then received a bill through the post saying we've got to pay them back £2,368 before July 17. It's all going pear-shaped," said Mrs Holmes, who is a full-time mum to their five-year-old daughter Jade and two-year-old son Cameron.

"I'm going to be stuck without a car, so I don't know what to do."

The couple have been sent four different award notices in the same week, all promising different amounts.

An Inland Revenue spokesman said he could not comment on individual cases, but anyone experiencing problems with the tax credit system should phone the helpline on 0845 3003900.

Updated: 10:52 Monday, June 20, 2005