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Tax Credit Fraud - Second Offence

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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.

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Same as first time. Its better to be totally honest and upfront. 6k is nothing. A lot of fraudulant claimers claim tens of thousands.

 

I suggest she be 100% truthful and very apologetic. Then just hope they are leniant.

 

Just remember though. She knew what she was doing. The tax office also knows she knows that too.

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Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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I agree with renegadeimp. Tax Credits is not particularly "trigger happy" when it comes to prosecution, so she'll probably be OK there. Probably. But she needs to get in touch and tell them exactly what's happening, and she needs to make sure she doesn't do this sort of thing again.


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It just doesn't seem likely for them to prosecute for 6k,

 

Therefore, the most likely outcome if she comes clean and just admits it, is to pay it back, easily the best option.

 

However, if she is still receiving Tax Credits, it will be in the form of a reduction in her monthly payments.

 

It is worth sending off for a free SAR so that you can see if the Tax Credits made any mistakes, it will also have a record of all phone conversations. You might find that the amount is less than what you think it is.

 

Plus, Google the Tax Credit Code of practice (COP 26). Pages 12 - 16 will be of particular interest. It covers things like partner's leaving. Also mitigating factors such as illness, etc.

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Plus, Google the Tax Credit Code of practice (COP 26). Pages 12 - 16 will be of particular interest. It covers things like partner's leaving. Also mitigating factors such as illness, etc.

 

Always worth including a link just in case a search engine puts the wrong document at the top of the list. The one I came across is:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tax-credits-what-happens-if-youve-been-paid-too-much-cop26

Hopefully, the right one :-)


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Good idea, it's definitely the right one.

 

After my problems with my Tax Credits, I wrote to my local MP, with the suggestion to include a copy of COP 26 with every repayment demand, and how it could save people a lot of distress.

 

To her credit she forwarded my suggestion on to Philip Hammond's office, and I received a reply from the director General of HMRC, saying how they were already doing an excellent job so no changes needed :(

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Thank you all for your advice - it’s been really helpful.

 

I did the same post on Netmums and got nothing but “she’ll go to prison” and “she deserves prison” - which in fairness she probably does, but it’s not nice to read. She knows she’s done wrong but I’m just worried about her mental health and the 3 children. The stress and anxiety is really taking its toll.

 

As advised, she’s going to come clean and admit to everything - there’s no real proof he hasn’t been there the whole time as it was just to his mums! I just hope they’re lenient and she gets a penalty to teach her a lesson instead of court/prosecution.

 

It was just tax credits - she has never received any help from DWP re council tax or housing benefit.

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Why on earth would you go there. THat site is terrible and its a bunch of uninformed people spouting nonsense in every possible scenario.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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In all honesty, I didn’t know where to go or who to ask for advice - never really been through anything like this before. I’ll know to avoid Netmums in the future - I didn’t dare pass on some of the comments to my sister, prob would’ve tipped her over the edge.

 

She’s recently had blood tests and they’ve come back abnormal so she’s going back again on Wednesday - I would imagine it’s down to the stress (they advised it wasn’t serious, so I’m assuming).

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This place is great, people are non judgmental. Everyone makes mistakes.

 

Taking parents away from their kids, and putting them in prison would cost hundreds of Thousands to the taxpayer, which is why it will not happen over an (alleged) 6k debt. Something that is far beyond the mental capabilities of many people offering 'advice' on Mumsnet.

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Just tell her to relax. Be honest with them and provide as much proof as she can. Sure, she did the wrong thing, but as long as its paid back, shes totally upfront, and more so, she wont do it again ( this is the second time though), they will look favourably on her.

 

6k is pretty much nothing compared to what some people do.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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