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Loner1

Please help - advice desperately needed

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Hello, I'm new to the site and would be very grateful for some advice regarding my current situation. Here goes...

My ex partner moved out of our family home in oct 2010. He has been staying with family ever since. I ended our joint claim with tax credits, and started a single claim.

Over Christmas, my ex has had some problems and as of today, will be moving back into my home.

Here's where I need help. I had a look on the Hmrc website this morning, as I was unsure as to whether they would class us as being in a relationship now that we'll be under the same roof. I read that unless you are legally separated, then Hmrc will see you as being in a relationship, if under the same roof, purely because we are still legally married. Ok, fine I thought. I'll have to call them and switch from single to joint. Upon explaining my situation to them, the guy popped me on hold, and came back and said that I don't have to do a joint claim if u don't want to. I can remain single. This is because I told them that nothing was changing, other than the fact he's going I be sleeping here for the forseeable future (temporararily putting him up, but as he has no where to go, can see this being a long term thing. )

He said it was my choice, I could remin single or go joint, but reminded me that if I went joint that I will be without tax credits for potentially up to 6 weeks. He told me to have a chat with ex, and see if he would subsidise me until all sorted. He said so long as ex isn't tied financially to me or the house then it's fine.

I felt my world crash around me in the instant, and now I need advice.

Ex has been financially tied to my home since day one. Even since he left, he has paid the rent on the property (terms of agreement with family was that he didn't have to pay them rent if he paid mine)

His name has not been removed from the tenancy agreement (which ended in 2010 and I've not been asked to sign another! As far as landlord is aware, ex still lives here. He knows nothing as I didn't want him to give notice to leave as I assumed that if ex wasn't here, the landlord wouldn't want to risk letting out to a single mum who works part time)

All letters are still sent to this address, some bills in his name also.

We were all quite happy with the arrangement and have had no problems whatsoever.

Since hearing the guy from tax credits say 'so long as he's not financially tied to the property then it's fine' I have felt sick and have been shaking.

I called back after half an hour and spoke to another lady. Explained my situation. Told her that ex gives me money each month towards things. She confirmed what the other guy said, and said you won't be thought of as a couple unless - him living here becomes permanent, or he starts to become financially responsible for me and the kids.

I would say he's been financially responsible from the day he left up until today. And when he moves his bags in tonight, he will still have the same responsibilities as he had last night, except will be sleeping here from now until he 'finds somewhere else'. What do I do??? I was fully expecting to call, explain, get told I will have to go joint as we are still married, and that be that. But instead, they're telling me I can stay as I am, but I'm not sure if staying as I am was the right thing in the first place???? I didn't want to go into details with them about what he pays etc, but have I been wrong to claim money from them?? Do I call them back tomorrow, and just say my ex has moved back and leave it as that, no more details?? I'm so so scared now that for 27 months Ive told them I'm single, but in their eyes I'm not because my ex is tied to this property in the same way he was before he left, apart from the council tax. He's off of that and I pay that myself. What mess have I got myself into, if any, and how can I get out of it??

I suffer with depression and anxiety and I don't know how I'm going to get through the rest of the day :( I'm so scared I'm going to get into trouble :( if you have read this far then thank you, I'd appreciate any advice at all.

Edited by Loner1

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Any advice would be greatfully received :(

Should I write a letter explaining everything from 2010 until now? It's only come to light to me today that I may be in the wrong here...been reading so many other people's threads and have got myself scared that I'm going to be investigate and made to pay back every penny - do I bring it up with Hmrc or just call tomorrow, cancel single claim and start a joint until he leaves again? And then obviously sort out Ll bills/rent etc. I can't believe I've been such an idiot not to realise this sooner. Plead ignorance or lay it all out there?? Please help :'(

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I doubt if pleading ignorance will alter the fact that if you have been overpaid they will want it back.From reading around though they normally just take an amount from any tax credits you may be entitled to as a joint claim. Personally,I would be honest with them and get it out of the way.


Lillibelle

 

I only know what I know cos I know it,I only give advice,I'm not legally trained nor do I pretend to be.

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I doubt if pleading ignorance will alter the fact that if you have been overpaid they will want it back.From reading around though they normally just take an amount from any tax credits you may be entitled to as a joint claim. Personally,I would be honest with them and get it out of the way.

 

So I'm definately in the wrong, then?

 

I had a 'review' for the childcare element of my tax credits in Sep 12, had to send bank statements, childminder receipts and contracts etc. Bank statements would have shown no rent/mortgage payments, no utility bills, as ex pays these for me. Would they have even noticed? I know that they were investigating only the childcare element, but why did they not notice this and ask me questions?

There was me thinking I was lucky to have such an amicable relationship, and not having to struggle too much because ex is such a nice bloke...could now have just totally shot myself in the foot.

So, moving forward...do I call and explain that in the past 24 hours I've come to realise that I shouldnt have allowed ex to pay some bills? Should have made him change his address on all of his personal stuff...and am now basically going to ask for you to stop my payments and send me a letter asking me to pay back everything?

I just don't want to get into any trouble as I actually couldn't handle it :'(

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I'm not sure if you may be OK actually:

 

What not to include

Don't include:

maintenance payments received from a former partner

tax credit payments

student loans

student grants, except the Adult Dependants' Grant or any dependants' grant in Scotland

income your children have had, unless it's taxable in your or your partner's name

the Christmas Bonus and the Winter Fuel Payment

income from tax-free savings such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), Personal Equity Plans (PEPs), index-linked and fixed-interest National Savings Certificates, Children's Bonus Bonds war pensions

pensions or annuities paid to victims of Nazi persecution

If you are unsure whether or not to include income, call the Tax Credit Helpline.

 

You might have to wait for one of the more experienced benefits bods to come along though...I'm just going from what I've read on the website.

 

I think you might be as well to ring them and explain - the worst thing that's going to happen is you'll have been overpaid and they'll take it out of your on-going entitlement, but if that's the case it's better to get it over and done with now!


"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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I did say 'if' you have been overpaid. Im happy to leave the advice to the far more experienced on here.


Lillibelle

 

I only know what I know cos I know it,I only give advice,I'm not legally trained nor do I pretend to be.

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