I am going to copy the letter that I have spent all day preparing,
to send back to HMRC after I received a tax credit letter stating that they need to check my tax credit claim.
I know that I have been stupid.
I shouldn't have posted the claim form at the end of Sept when i had already signed up to uni and had already decided to just work for the playgroup.
I kept meaning to ring them and tell them I no longer wanted to claim it but just kept letting myself get distracted by other matters.
I then got a phone call about a week ago and was told that they wanted to check some information about my work.
I agreed and stupidly just said yes when she asked if i was still acting in cleaning, gardening and clerical work.
I have only been doing clerical work this year and only for one customer
after receiving the letter and panicking that i am going to go to prison i went online and found this place
and although it has reassured me that i probably wont go to prison
i am still past myself with worry that they will carry out a full investigation and i will lose my job.
I cannot have a criminal conviction with my work.
I have not at any point earned enough money to pay tax or NI on my income.
Please would someone take the time to read my letter and tell me whether you think i will be prosecuted please,
thank you in advance,
any advice will be gratefully received.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Stupidity and ignorance are no excuse for the mistakes I have made but in an attempt to be as transparent as possible I am setting out some information that will help you understand how I have come to be in the position that I am in with regards to tax credits.
I previously worked as a teaching assistant in the early year’s sector in primary schools in *******.
I worked in the sector for 14 years.
When new leadership came into the school and my contract hours were cut I decided to leave and to attempt to be self employed.
I started off doing craft fairs and selling hand- made items through fairs and word of mouth.
However there was very little money in the type of field I had tried to enter and it was obvious that I wasn’t going to make any real money in the process.
The profits were too low compared to the outlay.
I began a cleaning job to increase my income and started looking for other work
I was contacted by ****** playgroup in the September of 2014 and asked to work as a consultant in order to help them to improve when they received a ‘requires improvement’ judgement from Ofsted.
I sincerely believed that the work I was doing, as most of it was done from home and other parts were going in to deliver training, constituted self employment.
The income received from this work was declared in my self assessment declaration that was processed by my tax accountant.
The workload increased over the next year to the point where I was working almost solely for them but still growing vegetables and making occasional commission pieces for people.
By now I wasn’t cleaning the holiday cottage on a regular basis but had some work cleaning cottages on a as needs basis.
Again all of my income was declared.
I moved from my previous home that was a smallholding in Sept of 2015.
From there, on an honesty box principle, I used to sell vegetables and eggs from my chickens.
When I moved the new garden wasn’t ready to do that from but I have been working on it in the hope of having it ready for next year to continue to do the same.
However, having now looked into the matter I understand that this sort of attempt to make money is not really considered to be attempting to make a profit on a self employment basis. Therefore, I shall not be doing this again.
I was asked to be a permanent member of staff from Sept 2016 by the playgroup I had been working with, with 12 hours of that being in the setting and doing 8 hours a week admin at home.
I thought I would remain partly self employed and part employed. ********* playgroup operates for 15 hours a week and is staffed by part time staff and volunteers.
They were PAYE exempt as no-one earned over £112 per week due to the low operating hours and low wage at the time of £7 an hour. This was increased to £8.20 an hour when the new minimum hourly rate came in in April 2016.
After receiving your letter I have done what I should have done ages ago and found out some more information about what constitutes self employment and have realised that in fact I would be regarded as an employee and not self employed due to receiving holiday pay etc since April.
Also that the sale of produce from my garden does not really amount to attempting to make a profit.
I should have sought advice earlier but just carried on assuming that as long as I declared my income that would be alright.
When I was asked to become a permanent member of staff I fully intended to make up my hours from the 20 at the playgroup to 30 through acquiring 10 extra hours in the form of cleaning work or more clerical work, but casual work is very hard to come by in my area at present.
Also in the meantime I decided to go to university in order to improve my qualifications in the hope that in the future I might gain a full time better paid job.
The course is full time and I soon realised that I wasn’t going to be able to meet the commitment required of the course and the 20 hours a week at the playgroup and take on extra work.
I realise that I should have contacted you immediately and withdrawn my claim for working tax credits and I have no excuse for it except to admit that I allowed other things to seem more pressing.
It is only since considering my position that I have realised that my status as a self employed person is incorrect and I can only sincerely apologise for my error.
I of course wish to cease the application for the working tax credits as I accept that with my current working hours I am not entitled to them and apologise further for not contacting you sooner.
I am in the process of engaging a new tax accountant and hopefully will be able to get my tax status sorted out with HMRC.
Because of my new understanding of my employment status we will be setting up a PAYE scheme at the playgroup with this accountant to sort out what needs to be done about my payments since April and to avoid any further confusion.
To clarify my working hours for this tax year I have set out my income from the playgroup in a table below.
I hope that this clarifies matters regarding my income so far this year and my probable income for 2016/2017,
although should I be prosecuted over this matter my employment will cease as I am expected to have a clean DBS as I work in the children’s workforce.
Please let me know what else I can do to get this matter sorted out.
In the meantime I hope I have included everything I can to answer the information that was requested in the letter dated OCT.16 from HMRC.
I know that I shouldn’t have sent in the claim for tax credits as I was becoming increasingly aware that I would have to focus on the work at playgroup and doing my degree and nothing else as I was going to struggle to fit anything else in.
I have been stupid and not sought proper advice about matters that were important and should have been prioritised.
I am begging you to consider the fact that the working tax credits and child tax credits received in regards to my daughter until the end of August 2016 were received in good faith as I was working an average of approximately 18 hours a week, however if this money is considered to be an overpayment, then I will of course pay it back. And also that I have asked for the new claim to be withdrawn and have not received any money in regards to this claim.
Started trading as a sole trader 19/04/2014
2014/2015 profit account £2043 Doing craft shows, commissions and cleaning holiday cottages.
2015/2016 profit account £4707 commissions and cleaning holiday cottages,
also selling a small amount of produce from my garden and working as a consultant for ****** Playgroup.
From April 2016 working for ******** approx 18 hours a week Playgroup operates for 15 hours a week term time only (39 weeks a year).
Term time 20 hours @ £8.20 per hour pw £6396 39 wks 780 hours
Holiday pay 20 hours @ £8.20 per hour pw £ 820 5 wks 100 hours
Admin pay 5 hours @ £8.20 per hour pw £ 246 6 wks 30
Outside term time
2 weeks unpaid. £7462 910 hours per year.
For a full year a total of 910 hour. 910/52 weeks = 17.5hours per week.
£7462 pa/12 = £621.83
As you will be able to see from my bank statements this is the amount that has been paid in monthly.
Total wages were worked out and paid monthly to make cash flow for playgroup easier.
I have enclosed my bank statements and the slips I receive from playgroup to show I have been paid.
I have included a set of copies of the bank statements with notes next to the debits and credits listed to show what the amounts are for although most of them are referenced in such a way that they are self explanatory.
I have considered myself to be covered by the insurance that the playgroup has and have included a copy of their policy although I haven’t sent the original as this does not belong to me, if you require the original please let me know and I will ask for permission to send it to you.
I don’t have a mortgage and I don’t have business vehicle insurance as I don’t use the vehicle for anything other than commuting. The work I do as far as I am aware does not require any licensing or regulations.
I have included my most recent profit and loss accounts.
I don’t have a business plan and am afraid I have to admit I never had,
I just hoped I would make enough money to get by on until something better came along.
I hope I have covered everything; once again I apologise and hope that this matter can be sorted out