HMRC apologises to 'dead' mother
HM Revenue and Customs has apologised to a young mother and her family after sending them a letter saying she was dead.
The letter sent to Tonie Francis' mother said the tax credit office had heard of her 22-year-old daughter's death and needed further details, it emerged.
Mother-of-two Ms Francis, from Northampton, said the letter had left her mother distraught and ill with worry.
And since she tried to contact HMRC about the problem, she said they refused to talk to her and her benefits had now been frozen as she was classed as "deceased".
An HMRC spokesman has now apologised to the family and said they were taking steps to make sure nothing like this happened again.
He said: "We are very sorry to hear of the problems this customer has had. We apologise to both her and her family for any distress caused by the letter we issued in error.
"We can't comment on individual cases but we are taking immediate steps to ensure this does not happen again."
Ms Francis told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo her mother had also tried to contact the authorities but they would not speak to her.
She said: "I think the whole thing is absolutely disgusting. I've phoned them and left a load of messages, but they've never got back to me.
"My mum's rung them and they won't say anything to her because they say they can't give out personal information and now all my benefits have been stopped because they say I'm dead."