A young single mum has been told she must pay back more than £11,000 overpaid to her by the tax office.

Lisa-Marie Holmes, 20, of Otley Road, Bradford, received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs in June last year saying she was entitled to £4,748 working tax credits and £6,560 for childcare.

She has been receiving the cash in monthly payments of around £1,000 since then.

But she says she has now been told because she was on an apprenticeship course, and therefore not on an employment contract, she must pay it all back.

She said she had kept HMRC up to date on her circumstances and that the body had been aware of her apprenticeship from the start.

Miss Holmes, who has a two-year-old son, Bradley, says she has had to give up her placement as an administrator for Bradford Council, and work she had been doing towards an NVQ, because she can no longer afford childcare.

She said she was told about the overpayment when she made a routine phone call to HMRC to confirm her payments for the new financial year.

She is still entitled to child tax credits, which come to £54 a week and says she was told cash would be deducted from that amount to cover the overpayment.

“I was crying when they told me this on the phone,” she said. “The worst thing is I have actually done something with my life and it’s been thrown back in my face.

“Now they are going to take it out of Bradley’s money.”

An HMRC spokesman said: “We are in the process of discussing this matter with the claimant to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Anybody who is concerned they may have been overpaid benefits is asked to visit hmrc.gov.uk.