Hi, I’m new - after reading so many posts over the last few days I thought this may be the best place to ask for advice.
So, last year my sister got caught receiving tax credit payments whilst her partner was still living there, she received a £300 penalty and was asked to pay back the £8k she received. A few months after this she did actually split with her partner and, to make ends meet (she has 3 children and works part time) she started a new claim as a single parent and started receiving tax credits again. She started seeing her ex again, he was staying a few nights a week and they were constantly on/off however he was providing her with financial support.
A few days ago she received a letter from tax credits saying they suspect he is living there again and they now want bank statements, agreements for rent and council tax etc etc. Now officially they were on/off, and she did many times go to call them but then she’d split with her partner and wasn’t sure if they’d get back together etc and put off calling them as she was worried about money. I have looked through the bank statements during the dates TC have asked for as there are multiple payments from him which would look as though he was living there the whole time.
My sister is absolutely petrified at what might happen, she’s calculated what she thinks they’ll want back and it’s around £6k.
As this is her second offence, what might happen? If she’s completely honest and agrees to pay whatever she can back, would she get a penalty? Or as it’s now happened a second time, is prosecution more likely? I’m so worried for her, she has 3 young child (the youngest is 18 months) - any advice will be appreciated.