To be outraged that HMRC have written solely to DH regarding child benefit changes?

(70 Posts)
dolcelatte Wed 21-Nov-12 20:46:20

My DH has today received notification from HMRC about the changes to Child Benefit. The letter says that if the changes apply to you or your partner 'you should jointly decide' what to do. There is an attached 'helpsheet' which commences 'Am I affected' and then goes on to ask questions about DH and partners' income, what the options are, what needs to be done ie give up child benefit or keep getting it and be taxed on it.

Now, perhaps I have misunderstood the position, but my understanding was that child benefit was generally paid to the mother; yet I have heard nothing form HMRC. Instead, it appears that I am being treated as the 'little woman' - or rather not being acknowledged at all - whilst my DH is being asked to give information about my income and make decisions on behalf of the family without reference to me.

AIBU to think that HMRC should at least have written to both of us about this?

squeakytoy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:47:45

outraged? really?

cant say that it would bother me in the slightest as long as I received the relevant information..

foreverondiet Wed 21-Nov-12 20:48:31

This has been on the news for months. They are writing to the parent who earns more as they are the one taxed on it.

SandStorm Wed 21-Nov-12 20:48:47

Actually, my DH received the same letter. I didn't think twice about it.

LiegeAndLief Wed 21-Nov-12 20:49:14

Child benefit is paid to whoever you request. If you asked for it to be paid to dh in your initial application, that is who it is paid to. We asked for it to be paid to me, so all correspondance is (as far as I remember) addressed to me.

Unlike child tax credits - they always send every letter in duplicate to both of us, despite the fact we live at the same address.

WiseKneeHair Wed 21-Nov-12 20:49:36

I received our letter because I am the higher rate tax payer. Therefore, it is me that will be prosecuted if we continue to receive it but I don't declare it.
I don't think DH is outraged. Shall I ask him? wink

Fakebook Wed 21-Nov-12 20:49:44

What do you propose to do about it?

vodkaanddietirnbru Wed 21-Nov-12 20:49:47

dh got the letter too but I figured that's because he is the one paying the tax.

LiegeAndLief Wed 21-Nov-12 20:50:35

X-posted with forever on a diet... maybe I'm wrong blush... I'm pretty sure all correspondance comes to me though. Will report back when we've had this letter as dh earns more.

ChablisLover Wed 21-Nov-12 20:50:50

Yip. I agree. As the higher rate taxpayer is paying the tax, it's only right hmrc write to them as its their tax it's affecting. It's not affecting yours. So yes you receive it but the new charge affects your dh.

Yes you must decide what to do jointly as it will affect the whole family but the letter is correctly addressed

KatAndKit Wed 21-Nov-12 20:51:42

Perhaps he is a higher rate tax payer and you are not? the changes only affect higher rate taxpayers. If you are not one of those then actually you have the right to claim the CB and pocket it regardless of what your husband thinks as it is in your name. It is his responsibility to declare to the tax office that he is living with someone who is claiming CB so that they can take the money back from him via taxes.
It would not make sense for HMRC to write a letter to you about your husband's taxes. If you are in fact a higher rate taxpayer then I would have thought you would receive a letter too.

vodkaanddietirnbru Wed 21-Nov-12 20:52:30

LiegeAndLief I get the child benefit paid to me but the letter from HMRC about the change to child benefit was sent to dh (as he is the tax payer)

lovelyladuree Wed 21-Nov-12 20:52:33

My DH got the same letter. I have my own business. I am not bothered in the slightest.

Anonymumous Wed 21-Nov-12 20:53:45

Since it's the higher earner who has to fill in the self-assessment form to continue receiving child benefit, it makes sense for the letter to go to the higher earner. And as for writing two letters to every household to spare the feelings of any woman who might be insecure enough to feel offended at not getting a letter... seriously? Get real. They're doing this to save money - what's the point if they end up spending all the money on stationery and postage costs?!

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 21-Nov-12 20:54:07

DH got the letter - but I assumed that was because he was the one claiming the benefit...

OP, I'm with you on this one

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 21-Nov-12 20:54:46

Should have said, I'm the higher earner in the family

dolcelatte Wed 21-Nov-12 20:56:42

I am also a higher rate tax payer, so why haven't I received a letter? I agree that I have the relevant information from DH but why do I have to have it from him, why aren't HMRC writing to me about it?

Anonymumous Wed 21-Nov-12 20:57:00

P.S. You should be pleased - my heart always sinks when I get a letter from the dreaded HMRC! It's like when policemen stop to talk to you - you instantly feel guilty and think you must have done something wrong, even when you know you haven't!

It is nothing to do with you, that's why. It is the responsibility of the highest earner to declare whether or not they live with someone or are themselves claiming CB and adjust their tax payments accordingly. You do not need to do anything. However if you want to save your Dh the bother of self assessment (if he doesn't do it already) you could have your CB stopped (keep the claim going to protect your NI contributions if you are a SAHM but just stop the money)

suebfg Wed 21-Nov-12 21:00:00

They write to the person who is paid the child benefit. They wrote to me but my husband is the higher wage earner. Can't see what the fuss is about really

zlist Wed 21-Nov-12 21:01:45

Yes, it does generally get paid to the mother. My father had to 'fight' for quite a long time to get it paid to him after my mother died - that was pretty outrageous.
I don't think this is a sexist or outrageous incident though - unless you are the highest earner?

FredFredGeorge Wed 21-Nov-12 21:02:19

dolcelatte if you are a higher rate taxpayer then you will also get a letter.

dolcelatte Wed 21-Nov-12 21:03:47

I am assuming that all of the posters on here so far are in happy settled relationships where financial decisions are discussed and made jointly; but that's not always the case. HMRC cannot assume that the recipient of the letter is going to pass on the information.

crashdoll Wed 21-Nov-12 21:06:33

YABU for being 'outraged'.

mercibucket Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:27

They're not doing this to save money, as it will save almost no money at all. Universal benefits are incredibly cheap to administer, unlike bizarre means-tested benefits via tax returns on some but not all higher rate tax-payers
They're doing it so those who still get it feel like those with more money are getting a kicking too, and forget all about those super-rich bastards running off with all the rest of the cash

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