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Worriedandunsure

Tax credit investigation compliance

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Today I received a letter from HMRC saying that they need more information about my tax credits claim and that they have some information that links ex to my address.

It goes on :today we want to make sure we are calculating your award based on correct information.

 

I currently have a single claim as I am- the person named is my ex and father to my children.He does not live here and for the past 5/6 years has lived between his mothers, sister and brothers.

We married in 2012 but he moved out when I was pregnant- I have had children with him since(I understand this looks dodgy however he has not lived here we sort of get on and mistakes happened)

 

I pay all the bills here rent etc, he is here a lot seeing his children and looks after them when I work.He does still have some letters that come here and the electric was in his name until last year when I switched it- he pays me maintenance into my bank account for the children. 

 

It is asking me :do I know who he is and thinking about the information above I think I should be part of a joint claim?

It is asking for info from April 2018 until July 2018.I genuinely don’t feel I should be part of a joint claim as we are not in a relationship and I pay utilities, rent, council tax etc.

I feel they aren’t going to believe me and I’m terrified I’m going to get in serious trouble

 

Would it be best to change my claim to joint now and say yes on the letter however it then asks what date did he became part of the household what would I put as he hasn’t become part of it? I realise that him having letters come here makes it look even worse it was never done to deceive.I have lived on my own with my children and yes he helps look after them whilst I work and provides for them but that’s all.

 

any advice would be appreciated I’m terrified I’m going to get arrested and a criminal record I’m supposed to be starting university September for nursing and if I get a criminal record I can’t do that.

 

 

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you wont 'get arrested' nor get 'a criminal record' no ...stop worrying.

 

simply explain what you have here in a letter


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Thank you just stressing so much, I did try to call yesterday the number on the letter eventually got through after 20 min wait then was put on hold then the call disconnected so frustrating, the office closed at 5 so now I’m assuming I won’t be able to call until Tuesday. 

 

It it says I can provide the evidence online etc but when I looked online it just asks do I know him and who is he - it lists things like son, father etc or other. I can select other and write ex but then it doesn’t give you anywhere else to explain just upload evidence so am I right in thinking before I do that would it be better to call or write a letter explaining it and then send the evidence? 

 

Would it best for me to tell him that he needs to change his address on everything now and he can no longer use this address? Ive got my council tax bill for this year just trying to find last years - I’m assuming they want to see the single person discount which I’ve had for the past 5 years but I’m not good at keeping paperwork. I don’t know whether if I contact the council they would be able to send previous years bills? Is it best if I do call and ask all this so they can advise?

 

sorry for all the questions just worrying that much and fear they will stop the payments (says I have until 30th May to send evidence) and then send me a huge bill telling me I owe them thousands.

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upload a covering letter with the evidence

stop panicking.

 


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Yup,

 

Do as above, you won't go to prison or get a criminal record.  It sounds like you are completely in the right anyway.  It would be more 'dodgy' if you were doing a joint claim and he wasn't living there.

 

Just send a letter with the explanation.

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Thank you for your help

I spoke to them this morning and they said the same

(I had to contact them as didn’t have some of the documents they wanted from the dates asked if could send alternatives)

they were ok with that.

 

Just a quick question

I forgot to ask some of my documents are in Mrs and some are in Miss

- will this be a problem? 

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no 


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I sent all the information and had a reply from them this weekend which stated that they are stopping my claim from April 2018 due to the financial evidence they have that my ex used this address and they believe that for tax credits purposes we are a married couple.

 

It states I will receive a new award and possibly a penalty- said they will write to me if I am going to get one.I called them straight away and said I don’t understand I have been here alone with my children- I explained previously that he uses this address as letters come here for him etc but the guy on the phone said we are unable to link him to any other address and there is a lot of things that link him to that address.

He said I can do a mandatory reconsideration but my payments will still be stopped. 

 

I didnt know what what to doI filled out the mandatory reconsideration and told I will hear within 4-6 weeks.

 

I spoke to my ex and explained everything to him how him having letters here and not where he is staying he caused all this and now I’m not entitled to anything. We talked and decided it would be best if claimed as a couple and he can move back in then if that’s what it takes- I informed tax credits and ended my single claim with the date and then made a joint claim with my ex. 

 

I am am awaiting what the mandatory reconsideration comes back with but just panicking if they decide to prosecute.I haven’t been dishonest I have lived here alone with my children.I explained how he had mail coming here etc.I supplied them bank statements showing I pay all the bills and rent etc but seems like this wasn’t enough. 

 

I cant eat, sleep I feel sick.I don’t think I can start uni now with this looming over me as I can’t train as a nurse with a criminal record.Just don’t know what to now.Feels hopeless.I spoke to them again to ask if they needed any other evidence but the person I spoke to said nothing has been asked for on the system yet and they will let me know if they want anything.

I’m just terrified I’m going to prison. 

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You had no proof that your were not living together as if a married couple. If all of the information available only tells one story, then if you were in their shoes you would come to the same conclusion.

 

it would be a different story if your ex partner had a separate life going on somewhere else and there was proof of this. There would be Bank statements, utility bills, employers payroll, council tax, voters registration etc noting a different address. It it very difficult to live somewhere and to not leave a trace. How has your ex-partner managed to live somewhere else with no records available at all ?

 

Can I suggest that your try to get your ex-partner to have a really good dig around for old records that show living at a different address. Or if he has been paying cash to rent a room or living with someone else, can they provide any evidence ? Then send this to Tax Credits.

 

i suspect it will be a civil penalty added to the debt amount that will be issued and you will have to arrange with them how this is repaid.


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I will receive a new award and possibly a penalty - 

 

How did you jump from this, to worrying about a criminal record? 

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Thank you both - think Googling too much and panicking.

I can’t help it. J

 

ust you see cases of people being prosecuted for fraud etc and that’s what I think they think about me and my claim.

Also I think as the decision letter I received didn’t really say much just that we are stopping your claim from last year, you will receive a new award and possibly a penalty so I jump to the worst thing.

 

The new joint claim I have put it had to be for universal credit as no new claims can be done for tax credits so I’m assuming if they want all last years money back (which going by my calculations is a lot) if they don’t change their mind after the reconsideration they will take it out of that before they pay me anything?

 

I feel it’s my own fault for letting him use this address for mail, I didn’t realise that it would cause this.

He has been living either at his moms or family.

He doesn’t really have a fixed abode

- he works nights hence why he has used my address.

 

His stuff is at his moms though.

I did explain all this to them when I called them last month and I even said he had taken out credit on a car at this address which he told me about after. 

 

I’ve asked him if he can give me anything with an address on so I can show them and he said he will have a look. 

 

Thank you you for all your help just can’t believe I’ve been so stupid as I genuinely didn’t see an issue with him having mail here. 

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They normally reduce the amount of your new award slightly in order to pay off the penalty.  

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can I suggest something..

STOP PANICKING...

 

100'000's of people get a slight reduction from running benefits because of previous over payment.

you wont go to prison

you wont get a criminal record.

 

you can help it

stick to cag....


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Thank you, I will try to calm down and stop panicking. I have a meeting tomorrow for the universal credit application and he does aswell. Think they are going to be awkward though as they have said they want proof of the rent he pays at my address but obviously he doesn’t as I always have and he will only be just moving back in. Hopefully if I explain this they will accept it but who knows.

 

I was going to write another letter to tax credits - they are currently processing the mandatory reconsideration I’ve put in but I can’t log in online now as it states I can’t deal with my tax credits online anymore and to call if needed, so I can’t upload anything so will have to post it now.

 

thank you for all your help.

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I think you just need to tell the truth and let them see that you're sincere. 

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I had my universal credit interview thing today and explained all what had happened with tax credits so that’s why doing this as a joint claim now.

 

She told me she thought that I should be doing a single claim as I am not living with my ex.

I explained how I told the tax credits this etc but as I can’t prove he doesn’t live with me

(how can I do that unless he gives me something with another address on

but as he has used my address,

including with his work payroll details

- he lived with his mom at an address up until 2ish years ago

 

however his mom moved due to demolition of the house

- he never bothered changing address with anything

and was only when his work contacted him asking him for an address for correspondence that he gave them my address it’s practically impossible)

 

she still said but you are not living together as a couple etc.

She checked with a colleague and then a case manager who have told me I should change my claim to a single claim. 

 

I am scared to do this as look at what has happened with tax credits

(they even paid me today - I contacted them saying take it back but was told as there hasn’t been a calculation or decision on the mandatory reconsideration they can’t!)

 

I spoke to the ex and he has said he is happy to continue with the joint claim and he could potentially move in (sleep in front room as we are not together like that etc) it is up to me. 

 

Currently i I feel I would rather leave it as a joint claim as even though 3 people said to do a single claim, if he doesn’t change his address still or takes credit out at my address it will continue to flag up on there systems and I can’t deal with the stress. 

 

Just waiting for the mandatory reconsideration now so will see what happens.

Hoping it goes in my favour as was also told today that if it doesn’t they will want all the payments back since April 2018

- which would be a huge amount I imagine over 20k

(I receive premiums due to having a disabled child and I only work 20 hours a week)

 

the advisor did say they would not expect it back all at once and would arrange a repayment plan

- still worrying though as that’s a huge amount to have hanging over me plus with starting uni in September which will be another debt don’t see how I can afford it all to be honest.

 

thank you for your help 

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Ok Relax,

 

Forget about what you might or might not have to pay back. The 99.9% chances are that they will take a small amount of your new award each month to pay back the arrears.

 

The demands for repayment usually come through, when you suddenly get a better job, and are no longer eligible for TC's. That happened to me, they wanted 12,000 pounds paid back, but I went through the appeals process and only ended up paying 65 pounds.

 

Failing that, if you did need to come to an arrangement, they are not allowed to charge you more than you can afford. Let us know the results of your reconsideration.

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Thank you for that it’s just a case of waiting to see what they come back with now. I’m just terrified that I’ll get a letter come through saying they are going to prosecute as genuinely don’t know how I can prove he hasn’t lived here and if they go back to previous years also I have no idea what to do. Just so worried and don’t know what to do it’s affecting me so much I can’t eat or sleep. It’s just one huge mess and I don’t know how to stop it.

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Your ex partner has become a liability to you and they need to sort their life out.  At the moment it is not fair on you, for him to either live with you , but sleeping on a sofa or to be living elsewhere at various addresses but using your address for correspondence for official purposes.

 

What happens when he has court bailiffs after him or has the Police after him for any reason. They will be knocking on your door and might need some persuading he does not live at the address.

 

i think the universal Credit answer to have a single claim and for the ex partner to not live there is the way forward. Tell your ex he needs to cut all ties to your address and notify another address for everything he has registered. If he is effectively homeless, then he should seek help. Charity Shelter can offer advice.


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Thank you for your help. I do understand and I can see how it looks to tax credits however they aren’t telling me exactly what evidence they have. When I called them last week (haven’t spoke to the compliance team since) he said there is strong evidence but didn’t say what and then asked me what doctors he uses? I said I have no idea as I don’t.

 

do you think I should contact them again and explain everything again and also about the universal credit claim and what they advised? Just feel I’m gonna be in the wrong no matter what I do now as it’s either do a joint claim but he ain’t here in that capacity or do a single claim but risk it being investigated again due to him using this address.

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On 13/06/2019 at 17:37, Worriedandunsure said:

Hoping it goes in my favour as was also told today that if it doesn’t they will want all the payments back since April 2018

- which would be a huge amount I imagine over 20k

(I receive premiums due to having a disabled child and I only work 20 hours a week)

 

No more calling them, no one is going to prosecute you, above is the worst that will happen, Let me point you to the Tax Credits Code of Practice COP 26

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/784441/COP26_0419.pdf

 

Page 16 is of interest to you, it shows how much they are allowed to take off your new tax credit reward.

 

Also look at page 17, if for some reason they choose to stop your award and demand all of it back, i've qouted it below

 

'For example, if you’re looking after someone who is chronically ill or disabled. In some exceptional circumstances, we may cancel an overpayment altogether'

 

Finally, take a look at this thread below, and the lady involved had the whole Overpayment written off, which relates to the qoute above.

 

 

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Thank you so much for that, it helps a lot.

 

i know I just need to calm down but I’m even second guessing myself now it’s horrible. I won’t call them again as they will prob think I am crazy it’s just hard not to think the worst and I suffer with anxiety anyway so doesn’t help not knowing what they are thinking or doing.

 

Will await to see what they come back with the mandatory reconsideration and then take it from there. Least then I will have an idea what they say I owe as I haven’t received anything yet regarding that. Hoping they don’t start looking at previous years as will be the same situation. I can handle if they say I owe them that money just not the thought of anything else.

 

thank you once again and will update as soon as I hear back.

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