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Writing to HMRC about overclaimed tax credits


MrsV
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My husband and I separated in February of 2011 when he moved out of our family home. I stayed living in our family home with our son. We still had mortgage in both of our names, we still had our joint bank account and most of his bills were still coming to our home address. But he did not live with us, he was renting elsewhere.Even though we were separated, we always stayed friends for the sake of our son. In 2013 we noticed that our son was not taking our separation well at all. He was misbehaving in school and constantly kept asking questions why we are not together anymore. It was getting bad to the point that we were being called to come to school for a chat a few times during 2013. At that time, my husband was renting elsewhere and I was claiming Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit (since like November 2011) as my salary was very small. I also had some maintenance money from my husband paid into my bank account every month since he left our family home in February of 2011.

Because of how our son felt and because we wanted him to feel better, we decided for my husband to start coming to our family home more often and spending more time together as a family (still separated) so that our son can see that even though we are not a couple anymore, we ares till friends.So, since September/October 2013 to April 2014, my husband was spending 3 to 4 days living in our family home and the rest of the time he was staying at friends house, not renting anymore as there was no point paying rent for just a few days per week. We saw that our son was getting better. In April 2014 my husband moved back in permanently, but just on a temporary basis. It was becoming difficult for him to be spending few days at different friends houses, so we thought he might as well live with us. We were also planning on selling our home by the end of 2014 and buying separately somewhere to live.In April 2014 we notified Council Tax that he moved back in.

At this time, my husband and I were still just friends sleeping in a separate bedrooms.

Towards the end of July my husband and I became close again and became a couple of again. We even all went on our family holiday together in August. But, it was not really working. We were separated for so many years and there was a trust issue on my side. In September we decided to break up again. This is when I decided to move back home abroad. My salary here is very small, and even with Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit and with maintenance money, I am always in debt and can barely survive. I was thinking about going back home, being close to my family to help with child care, and living back home is much cheaper than living in the UK.

I resigned from my position beginning of October with a plan to leave the UK at the beginning of December. I called Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit and told them my plan is to leave the country. They stopped all payments to me within a week, which was fine by me as I was leaving the country anyway. My plan was for me to leave irst myself, and find somewhere to live and find a job, before bringing our son with me. My husband was fine with my decision because I have family back home and it is much cheaper to live. Plus his contract was finishing in December and he was also starting to look for another jobs, not just in the UK but abroad too.

My mum then came to visit for a couple of weeks in October. I guess having her here and talking things through with her, made me realise that my husband and I should try again for the sake of our family and for the sake of our son. So, once she left, I spoke to him again and we have decided to try again but this time really try. I am still resigning from my job and for the time being will not look for work and will be stay home mum.

However, I have now received form from Tax Credit to fill in when leaving the country. As my situation changed now, I started looking into these forms and this is when I scared myself to death with all the posts regarding penalties, over payments and possibility of going to prison for not telling Child Tax and Benefit people that my husband moved back in in April, even though we were living just as friends. The couple of months that we were together in summer, the reason why I did not tell them because everything happened so fast and I was not sure if we can last, as my husband left us and came back to us three times in 2010!

Can somebody please, please help me and tell me what to do. If I have to pay overpayment's, I will, but I do not want to go to prison. What shall I say to Tax People when I give them a call to tell them that I cannot fill in the form because my situation has changed now? I do not need to apply again, as my husband is earning enough to cover for our expenses.

Can somebody please help me. For the last few days I have been worried sick. I cannot sleep, I cannot eat and worried about prison thing. As a women, I have gone through hell since 2010 and it seems unfair that I am the one that has to go through hell again.

 

Please help.

 

Thank you all very much.

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Thank you very much for your quick reply. This is what I also thought I should do. I was thinking about calling them in July/August as well, but because of the history of my husband leaving us three times in the past, I did not do because I wanted to make sure things were really working out before I called them. We then broke up in Sept again, so I thought there is no point calling them as we are not together anymore. I wish there was a grace period when having to report these kind of things, as sometimes personal situations are not that blank and white in real lives. Thank you again very much. I am dreading calling them as I am not sure if they are going to believe me or not. The only thing I have is my word. I hope they will as I have gone through hell as a women, as a mother and financially for the last few years. Thank you again for your reply.

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I wouldn't go into any detail with them. Sinply tell them that you got back together from X date and hadn't realised it had not been reported before now. The helpline don't have the authority to issue penalties or question it further, only compliance could investigate it.

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Thank you again. So you suggest I do not tell them about the short stint that we had during summer? But if they ask me when did he move in together with me or if they send some kind of form to fill in with this information, I will have to tell them it was from April. I do not want to lie. Plus, my plan was to leave and move back home, but I decided to postpone this now and to give my marriage one last chance.

I will call them tomorrow or Friday and am dreading what will happen afterwords. Thank you again.

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No that's not what I meant. You need to tell them the date in the summer that you got back together, you don't need to go into anymore detail about breaking up again because it isn't relevant to your claim, it needs to end when you first got back together. They will ask you if you want to apply as a couple, just tell them no.

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From your post, you and your husband have obviously had a chaotic on and off relationship.

 

It is difficult to figure out at what point you should have ended your single person Tax Credit award and made a joint claim with your husband.

 

The only advice I can offer would be to explain the situation (as you have above) to the HMRC, and they will review your case based upon true circumstances.

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Thank you both very much. I will call them tomorrow and will inform them that he moved in April which is when he did moved in. And will tell them everything that happened since then (which is what I already wrote in my original post). I honestly hope it will be ok. I am dreading the call but if has to be done. Hoping for the best. I do not mind paying back any overpayments, just would not want to have any more troubles as my life has been turned upside down so many times in the last few years. Please wish me luck and thank you again for your responses.

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From your post, you and your husband have obviously had a chaotic on and off relationship.

 

It is difficult to figure out at what point you should have ended your single person Tax Credit award and made a joint claim with your husband.

 

The only advice I can offer would be to explain the situation (as you have above) to the HMRC, and they will review your case based upon true circumstances.

 

That's not really how it works though, the adviser simply needs a date to update on the system, they don't need to hear that they broke up, got back together etc. They simply need the first date they got back together, everything after that is irrelevant unless the OP wished to reapply and they do not have the authority to review the case, only compliance can do that and the OP won't want them involved.

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I called them today as I said I will. The lady told me she cannot take this information over the phone and that I should write them a letter! Please ladies what shall I write in this letter? Shall I just copy and paste what I already put here in my original post? Please, please help. Thank you very much.

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Hi All,

 

I have written this post on another thread - I wanted to start new one, but do not know how. I had some help from a couple of kind ladies. I am going to copy my post here as well hopefully more people will see it and be able to advise. Thank you all very much.

 

My husband and I separated in February of 2011 when he moved out of our family home. I stayed living in our family home with our son. We still had mortgage in both of our names, we still had our joint bank account and most of his bills were still coming to our home address. But he did not live with us, he was renting elsewhere.Even though we were separated, we always stayed friends for the sake of our son. In 2013 we noticed that our son was not taking our separation well at all. He was misbehaving in school and constantly kept asking questions why we are not together anymore. It was getting bad to the point that we were being called to come to school for a chat a few times during 2013. At that time, my husband was renting elsewhere and I was claiming Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit (since like November 2011) as my salary was very small. I also had some maintenance money from my husband paid into my bank account every month since he left our family home in February of 2011.

Because of how our son felt and because we wanted him to feel better, we decided for my husband to start coming to our family home more often and spending more time together as a family (still separated) so that our son can see that even though we are not a couple anymore, we ares till friends.So, since September/October 2013 to April 2014, my husband was spending 3 to 4 days living in our family home and the rest of the time he was staying at friends house, not renting anymore as there was no point paying rent for just a few days per week. We saw that our son was getting better. In April 2014 my husband moved back in permanently, but just on a temporary basis. It was becoming difficult for him to be spending few days at different friends houses, so we thought he might as well live with us. We were also planning on selling our home by the end of 2014 and buying separately somewhere to live.In April 2014 we notified Council Tax that he moved back in.

At this time, my husband and I were still just friends sleeping in a separate bedrooms.

Towards the end of July my husband and I became close again and became a couple of again. We even all went on our family holiday together in August. But, it was not really working. We were separated for so many years and there was a trust issue on my side. In September we decided to break up again. This is when I decided to move back home abroad. My salary here is very small, and even with Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit and with maintenance money, I am always in debt and can barely survive. I was thinking about going back home, being close to my family to help with child care, and living back home is much cheaper than living in the UK.

I resigned from my position beginning of October with a plan to leave the UK at the beginning of December. I called Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit and told them my plan is to leave the country. They stopped all payments to me within a week, which was fine by me as I was leaving the country anyway. My plan was for me to leave first myself, and find somewhere to live and find a job, before bringing our son with me. My husband was fine with my decision because I have family back home and it is much cheaper to live. Plus his contract was finishing in December and he was also starting to look for another jobs, not just in the UK but abroad too.

My mum then came to visit for a couple of weeks in October. I guess having her here and talking things through with her, made me realise that my husband and I should try again for the sake of our family and for the sake of our son. So, once she left, I spoke to him again and we have decided to try again but this time really try. I am still resigning from my job and for the time being will not look for work and will be stay home mum.

However, I have now received form from Tax Credit to fill in when leaving the country. As my situation changed now, I started looking into these forms and this is when I scared myself to death with all the posts regarding penalties, over payments and possibility of going to prison for not telling Child Tax and Benefit people that my husband moved back in in April, even though we were living just as friends. The couple of months that we were together in summer, the reason why I did not tell them because everything happened so fast and I was not sure if we can last, as my husband left us and came back to us three times in 2010!

Can somebody please, please help me and tell me what to do. If I have to pay overpayment , I will, but I do not want to go to prison. What shall I say to Tax People when I give them a call to tell them that I cannot fill in the form because my situation has changed now? I do not need to apply again, as my husband is earning enough to cover for our expenses.

 

UPDATE; I called Child Tax Credit this morning to tell them that I reconciled with my husband and they said they cannot take this change over the phone, but to write them a letter instead. Please could you let me know what shall I write in this letter? Shall I just write what I already written above in my original post?

 

Can somebody please help me. For the last few days I have been worried sick. I cannot sleep, I cannot eat and worried about prison thing. As a women, I have gone through hell since 2010 and it seems unfair that I am the one that has to go through hell again.

 

Please help.

 

Thank you all very much.

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From your post, you and your husband have obviously had a chaotic on and off relationship.

 

It is difficult to figure out at what point you should have ended your single person Tax Credit award and made a joint claim with your husband.

 

The only advice I can offer would be to explain the situation (as you have above) to the HMRC, and they will review your case based upon true circumstances.

 

 

I'd agree with the above post.

 

It's always best to stick with facts & the truth as you have outlined in your letter so far.

 

This way you don't have to remember what you did or did not tell them.

 

HMRC I find are very understanding & reasonable. Read some of the threads on here regarding OP who were really scared about having to speak to them & they found it was not as daunting as they first feared.

 

I wish you good luck & hope this is resolved very soon for you.....

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single minute of it!!

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Thank you Rainbow Tears for your supportive message. I have already prepared a letter which I will send recorder delivery tomorrow. I told them in this letter that we have reconciled in November, that we are now together, that my plans changed and gave them a little backgrounds starting from when he moved in from April 2014. So, everything that I wrote in my original post from April 2014 is in this letter to them as well. I dd not mention time before April 2014, because it is not relevant. He was not living here permanently then. He originally left this house in Jan/Feb 2011 and came back to it in April 2014.

I really hope they will be understandable as my intention was never to mislead them. Things just happened quickly and changes in my circumstances were brief so by the time I wanted to tell them, it was all over again.

I scared myself to death today reading an article about the lady who claimed as single parent from 2004 to 2013 even though she re-married in 2004 and then she was caught and put to prison for 8 months. I know that's not me but still these stories scare me to death.

I have read lots of stories on this form which is God sent and so helpful. I hope things work out for me too.

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MrsV

 

You should not overly concern yourself about that other case, HMRC are generally more interested in getting any overpaid Tax Credits back rather than sending people to prison.

 

Although I know nothing about the case you referred to, it sounds like that person systematically made false declarations for nearly 10 years (and might have continued to do so if they had not been found out).

 

In your case, you have simply been a few months late notifying a change, and you are making the declaration voluntarily.

 

I honestly can't see HMRC doing anything other than recalculating your Tax Credits

If you have found my post useful, please click on the star at the bottom of my post and add some reputation points.

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Thank you for your message id6052. The letter is gone now, registered today. I hope HMRC look at this the way you do. That would be the best decision for me. I am ready to pay any overpayments they think I might be due to them. Until I receive that letter, I will not find peace. I hope it does not take them weeks and weeks to send it back. Will keep you all posted. Wish me luck, please and thank you all.

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