Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder caly1967 Novitiate

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    Default Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Hi Can someone please help or advise!!!!!!, I have been claiming Tax credits for years as a single parent with my partner actually living with me, God I know how stupid this has been we both work anc claim nothing else.I received a letter from HMRC on Friday regarding my award for 2011 - 2012 and have stated they know my partner is at the address and why we have not made a joint claim.Im sick with worry and its making me ill I have not slept since receiving the leter, basically my partner ownes the house we live in he pays the mortgageicon, council tax, water, house insurances, tv license and I pay the gas, electric, phone, food.Im not sure how after all these years they have finally caught up with us but they have so im going to tell them that me and my partner have had a stormy relationship and he has not been living with me for years although he has paid the above mentioned bills for the sake of the kids and he has basically been living at his mothers on and off. Im going to tell them he moved back in last September as we have decided to give it a go although this is all not quite true but I dont know what else to do as the amout we could end up paying back could kill us if they go back that far.Im going to the CAB tomorrow to see if they can help all we want to do now is get off this system pay back something and get on with our lives.Please can someone help do you know how far back they go and what would be their next move if I submit this side of the story.I know I have done wrong and god im so sorry for that Please please please help or advise the best course of action as I dont want to pay 60 or 70k back and I would rather die than go to prison


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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Welcome to the site.
    Although no one is here to be judge and jury,the CAGicon does not support fraud,dishonesty,or attempts to undermine investigations by giving untrue accounts.
    There are people here who can give you some good advice and inform of procedures,but would expect to see that for your part,you are going to be upfront and open about the issues.
    Up to you at the end of the day of course.


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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    What's done is done and it's how to deal with it going forward. A friend of mine had an interview under caution for very different reasons, and they went back about 4 years. I daresay they could go back further.

    Bear in mind that if HMRC find you are not telling the truth you will make it worse for yourself. Also by saying your partner was with his mother, depending if she is claiming anything, eg 25% council tax benefit for living alone (if she does), that could lead to her being investigated too when she's done nothing wrong. Would she back you up if it meant getting into trouble herself?


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    Basic Account Holder gildo Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Hi
    Although my situation was different to yours, I had no proof that my husband didn't live with me as the person he lived with claimed benefits and wouldn't allow him to say he lived there. Anyway, my husband did come back to live with me in 2010 but we were not reunited as a couple. I had many personal and health issues that i needed him to help me with and he was very depressed following personal circumstances of his own. Anyway, i also got the dreaded letter for the years 2010 - 2011 and 2011 and 2012 and to cut a very long and stressful story short, I wrote to them (with the help of CAB) and outlined my circumstances. to be honest, i don't think they really care what your circumstances have been and if they can link you and your partner/husband financially then as far as they are concerned you aren't entitled to claim as a single parent. I also waited weeks and weeks on a reply and finally received a letter asking me to pay back 13,000. I have recently contacted them and they want 100 a month off me for the next 10 years (or something) and i am due to ring them back with a list of my expenditures so i can haggle with them about reducing the amount I'm expected to pay. I was also concerned that they'd go back over years and years but they didn't. they just stuck to the years on the letter. try not to worry as soon you'll see light at the end of the tunnel.


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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepyhollow View Post
    so scared going to prison as what will happen to my kids.
    This is precisely why you are unlikely to go to prison, although you may need to pay the money back over time.

    Maybe this is a good time to take stock and see what you can do to sort out your debt problems so that you can cope better going forward, especially as it is likely that you'd have to pay the money back, even if it is over a long period of time like gildo.


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    Basic Account Holder Sleepyhollow Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    I'm going talk to cab tommrow morning. But what I'm really scared now is shall I just tell them of the year they asked me about Or admit never using childcare. I was paying friend mine look after them who is not a registered childminder and who no longer lives in the country.


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    Basic Account Holder Sleepyhollow Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Thank you gildo. I hope you get things back on track and your feeling better. It's just a hole that kids bigger and I can't see no light. I feel like bad mum can't give them what they need. They go with out shoes cloths sometimes as I just don't have money.


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    Basic Account Holder caly1967 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by gildo View Post
    Hi
    Although my situation was different to yours, I had no proof that my husband didn't live with me as the person he lived with claimed benefits and wouldn't allow him to say he lived there. Anyway, my husband did come back to live with me in 2010 but we were not reunited as a couple. I had many personal and health issues that i needed him to help me with and he was very depressed following personal circumstances of his own. Anyway, i also got the dreaded letter for the years 2010 - 2011 and 2011 and 2012 and to cut a very long and stressful story short, I wrote to them (with the help of CAB) and outlined my circumstances. to be honest, i don't think they really care what your circumstances have been and if they can link you and your partner/husband financially then as far as they are concerned you aren't entitled to claim as a single parent. I also waited weeks and weeks on a reply and finally received a letter asking me to pay back 13,000. I have recently contacted them and they want 100 a month off me for the next 10 years (or something) and i am due to ring them back with a list of my expenditures so i can haggle with them about reducing the amount I'm expected to pay. I was also concerned that they'd go back over years and years but they didn't. they just stuck to the years on the letter. try not to worry as soon you'll see light at the end of the tunnel.
    Thank you so much although my mind is not at rest you have made me feel a little better did they ask to interview you? thank you


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder caly1967 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by caro View Post
    What's done is done and it's how to deal with it going forward. A friend of mine had an interview under caution for very different reasons, and they went back about 4 years. I daresay they could go back further.

    Bear in mind that if HMRC find you are not telling the truth you will make it worse for yourself. Also by saying your partner was with his mother, depending if she is claiming anything, eg 25% council tax benefit for living alone (if she does), that could lead to her being investigated too when she's done nothing wrong. Would she back you up if it meant getting into trouble herself?
    Thank you for your advice it is so much appreciated, we have spoken to his mother this weekend and she does already pay full council tax as his brother lives there and she is still working and would confirm on his behalf if it came to that I just hope it doesn't im at my witts end and have never felt so ashamed and lost with not knowing which way to turn in my life.


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    Basic Account Holder Sleepyhollow Novitiate

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    Quote Originally Posted by caly1967 View Post
    Thank you so much although my mind is not at rest you have made me feel a little better did they ask to interview you? thank you
    Nope not asked imiterview just received review letter wanting proof of child care cost


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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by caly1967 View Post
    Thank you for your advice it is so much appreciated, we have spoken to his mother this weekend and she does already pay full council tax as his brother lives there and she is still working and would confirm on his behalf if it came to that I just hope it doesn't im at my witts end and have never felt so ashamed and lost with not knowing which way to turn in my life.
    I would still try and keep it honest. You just don't know what information they may have, and it just takes one wrong word to throw doubt on all that you say. Even if your OH's mother backs you up, you aren't going to be able to provide proof of child care payments so that's not really going to help.


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    Basic Account Holder shadow2007uk Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Hi

    Im in the same boat , i sent letter admitting i was stupid and i couldnt prove to their satisfaction my partner was not living with me as its his house . Its been nearlly 2 weeks so im nervous as hell . If i go to court i will lose my job and could not face anyone in my family again . I totally deserve it to be fair . I do feel better reading peoples accounts of just being made to pay it back im praying im not the one they use to make a example of . Good luck to u all and ill update u if i hear anything .
    P.s CAB advised me to write to them as i can get my point across without feeling under pressure .


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder susi72 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    It may be that his mother pays full council tax, but they know who lives at that address. Your partner won't likely be on the electoral roll at his parents for all the years involved and this is one of the main points of a Compliance investigation's evidence.

    I would be as honest as possible because the following : - he went back to his mums, he works away - are two of the most common statements made during fraud investigations by claimants during the initial stages or at IUC for an investigation into a single claim. The fact his parents or extended family have agreed to lie for you is perverting the course of justice. If this goes to down a non-civil route (which it will if you lie to them), then they will be involved. Don't forget, they don't just send these letters out randomly, these cases are picked up months, sometimes years before they attempt to give you a chance to confess. They have contacted you now because they believe they have enough evidence.

    It seems to have been missed on all the forums but it was agreed last week that there is going to be a minimum penalty - an on the spot fine for any benefit fraud and they are going to start moving away from the "non-civil" routes. This is due to the changes coming in with UC and to prevent benefit fraud. Considering the fines go up into the thousands, it will work.

    As mentioned, they have the power to go back many years. To be completely frank with you and to give you as honest an answer as possible; your planned response would ring bells for me due to it's similarity to other stories given and because the evidence they will have is that he paid the bills. To claim as a single person you must prove that you are not financially linked, which by him paying your bills you are. This is the reason the claims are all being stopped and people have these overpayments. Not because the partner was living with the claimant but because he was paying for them. A single person gets more precisely for this reason - they are supposed to be paying alone.

    You have all the utilities, TV license, insurances in his name. Then you add the childcare into it. I would get down to the CAB and discuss making savings and planning control of any debts you have, because you are going to need it.


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    Basic Account Holder shadow2007uk Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    I said i had recieved the letter and when . I explained he owns the house and although i pay every bill i can not prove to their satisfaction that we are not a couple because its his home . I admitted he had moved in 5 weeks ago as he wants his home back and im on council list . I excepted i was stupid and naive for not telling them and i would like to resolve the matter asap.I also explained he helps with his son who has ADHD so has been at the home . Also he owns house i cant stop him getting credit from this address . I also said i didnt want a joint claim as we ARE NOT a couple . Rubbish i know,CAB told me to be honest . I called monday to see if they had letter but they said it takes 2 weeks for them to get it ... more waiting


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    Basic Account Holder shadow2007uk Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    sorry my previous post looks like a 10 yr old wrote it .


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder caly1967 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by susi72 View Post
    It may be that his mother pays full council tax, but they know who lives at that address. Your partner won't likely be on the electoral roll at his parents for all the years involved and this is one of the main points of a Compliance investigation's evidence.

    I would be as honest as possible because the following : - he went back to his mums, he works away - are two of the most common statements made during fraud investigations by claimants during the initial stages or at IUC for an investigation into a single claim. The fact his parents or extended family have agreed to lie for you is perverting the course of justice. If this goes to down a non-civil route (which it will if you lie to them), then they will be involved. Don't forget, they don't just send these letters out randomly, these cases are picked up months, sometimes years before they attempt to give you a chance to confess. They have contacted you now because they believe they have enough evidence.

    It seems to have been missed on all the forums but it was agreed last week that there is going to be a minimum penalty - an on the spot fine for any benefit fraud and they are going to start moving away from the "non-civil" routes. This is due to the changes coming in with UC and to prevent benefit fraud. Considering the fines go up into the thousands, it will work.

    As mentioned, they have the power to go back many years. To be completely frank with you and to give you as honest an answer as possible; your planned response would ring bells for me due to it's similarity to other stories given and because the evidence they will have is that he paid the bills. To claim as a single person you must prove that you are not financially linked, which by him paying your bills you are. This is the reason the claims are all being stopped and people have these overpayments. Not because the partner was living with the claimant but because he was paying for them. A single person gets more precisely for this reason - they are supposed to be paying alone.

    You have all the utilities, TV license, insurances in his name. Then you add the childcare into it. I would get down to the CAB and discuss making savings and planning control of any debts you have, because you are going to need it.
    Thank you for you note it has given me some food for thought Im terrified and know this is going to destroy us


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder susi72 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    Caly it doesn't have to destroy you, ony will if you let it.

    Just co-operate with the questions they ask and answer as honestly as possible. If you do this they will treat you more favourably than if you cover something up.

    When they decide what action they will take, they will likely set up a repayment arrangement. It is still proceeding by non civil routes for these cases, only cases where the claimants have been difficult or evasive are prosecutions or high value cases.

    You need to start planning a budget so that when your tax credits are changed you can adapt as best as possible, the CAB can help you to do this.

    Thousands of people have been and are currently in this situation. If you speak to the majority who have overpayments on forums (because no-one admits it in real life) they will tell you that being caught turned out to be the best thing because the weight and burden was lifted. Although they had less money, they were glad to finally have things out in the open. I am sure once your case is dealt with, you will be the same, whatever outcome.


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder caly1967 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    [QUOTE=susi72;3834548]Caly it doesn't have to destroy you, ony will if you let it.

    Just co-operate with the questions they ask and answer as honestly as possible. If you do this they will treat you more favourably than if you cover something up.

    When they decide what action they will take, they will likely set up a repayment arrangement. It is still proceeding by non civil routes for these cases, only cases where the claimants have been difficult or evasive are prosecutions or high value cases.

    Thank you Susi so much I really appreciate the time you have taken to explain it is most appreciated, I know I have been stupid and I totally agree with what you say about getting out of this system as I have deep down wanted to get off it. Do you know the average sorts of time they look back as my letter stated the claim for 2011 - 2012 and I was told that this is all they are interested in. All i want is for them to tell me what I owe and the penalty so I can work something out and get on with my life.


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder susi72 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    It is different for everyone Caly. With some it is only a small portion of time, others they want to go back. But as I said and I cannot stress this enough to you - how you act and behave towards them can be the deciding factor.

    Get any information you think you might need and answer the questions they put to you. That's all you have to do. Give honest and truthful answers to what is aked of you.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Received HMRC letter about tax credits. What do I tell them?

    So many others appear to be in a similar position.Best to start your own threads so it does not get confusing,of course nothing to stop continuing to share info or questions.



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