to ask for some help PLEASE re tax credits, compliance, i am SO scared :(

(91 Posts)
taxcredshelp Sat 09-Mar-13 10:17:30

split up with ex jan 2012, he left me. but would not tell me where he was living and his mail etc kept coming to the house.

he has now admitted to living with someone just after xmas, and says he has changed his address for everything now. and his mail has stopped coming as much. the only thing he has carried on paying for is the Sky, as i tried to change it into just my name but

well this morning i have had a letter from tax credits compliance saying they have done a credit check which shows that TWAT exp is still living here. and they are asking for evidence such as bank statements, rent agreements, council tax bills, utility bills and "any other info to explain why i have claimed as a single person". i have most of what they are asking for, but what i am worried about is that the one thing we agreed on is that he would still continue paying my internet and phone line as virgin would not allow me to take it over in my own name (credit score failure) . so that is still in his name.

i am shitting it. i have about 2 weeks to provide that evidence or my tcs get stopped or they will charge me a penalty and the letter even talks about criminal prosecution sad

i am so, so scared. has anyone else ever had this? what happened? please help.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 15:17:53

It does not matter if HE can prove he's paying rent elsewhere as they are not allowed to request anything that the claimant has no legal right to ask for, its easier if he would willingly provide that evidence but it is not the bee all and end all.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Sat 09-Mar-13 16:21:32

hmm Thats not what my council told me.

LineRunner Sat 09-Mar-13 16:40:07

OP Please try not to worry. Just tell the truth.

taxcredshelp Sat 09-Mar-13 17:40:20

have managed to find some more bank statements, in fact i have found every one they are asking for bar one. plus my tenancy agreement, council tax statmenent, plus bill for tv licence payment schedule, all of which are in my sole name

so am going to post them all off on monday with a cover letter stating i live on my own (well, with dc's) and saying i will send everything else when it arrives, do you think i need to say anything else?

i suffer from anxiety at the best of times and this has really knocked me for six.

and wellslapmythigh what did your council tell you then?

thanks again for all the advice so far x

LineRunner Sat 09-Mar-13 17:44:00

Hi OP you are doing great.

I would send it recorded delivery as well, just to be on the safe side.

Shutupanddrive Sat 09-Mar-13 17:59:11

OP, you haven't done anything wrong and you can prove it so please try not to worry (easier said than done I know!)

cozietoesie Sat 09-Mar-13 18:03:02

Remember to post off copies and not the originals. You're doing great.

smile

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 18:08:56

Do not post off copies. They will not accept copies, they have to be original documents

If you print off online statements then they may make you get them validated by a stamp in the bank.

And I'm quite interested to know what your council said as well as they can only request a claimant provides things that the claimant personally has a legal right to obtain they cannot try to make you obtain anything that data protection would prohibit you from getting.

cozietoesie Sat 09-Mar-13 18:13:24

Ah - I stand corrected, Sock. But what happens if they lose them? (Not unknown.)

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 18:23:11

Then they have to fund the costs incurred with replacing them. Ime they won't unless you send them recorded.

LineRunner Sat 09-Mar-13 18:25:55

So ... I think the best thing is to make photocopies and keep them, so you know exactly what you've sent them, and sent the originals by Recorded Delivery with a covering letter (with your National Insurance number on it).

Do you have a scanner at home or access to a copier?

ivykaty44 Sat 09-Mar-13 18:30:17

Make photocopies of all the documents that t you send to them

Send by post and pay extra so they have to sign to say they received the letter, that way it can't so easily go missing

Babyroobs Sat 09-Mar-13 20:00:16

Is his name still on the electoral roll at your address? If so you will need to get him to remove it. There are huge threads on this very same issue on Netmums website - might be useful to take a look and see how others have dealt with it .

cozietoesie Sat 09-Mar-13 20:16:20

I don't know how things work in your neck of the woods Babyroobs but we receive a form on an annual basis to update the electoral roll. You just take them off on the return so the OP's latest return shouldn't have included him. (Unless the OP is in NI of course where matters are tighter.)

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 20:37:14

Same as here

cozietoesie Sat 09-Mar-13 20:39:23

Sorry sock - that was a bit enigmatic. What is the same as what?

rosehill Sun 10-Mar-13 07:21:59

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I haven't had a tax credit payment since the end of December. I have an order to repay almost twelve months of tax credits plus a 2.5 k penalty payable in the next thirty days. I'm a single parent of four children.

All because exh opened a bank account using my address just after he left. Apparently this is evidence for them that he has been living here all along. I have sent everything in that they have requested and they have said that its not enough.

They won't accept photocopies...send the originals by recorded delivery.

And request the appeal documentation from them. They are so evasive on the phone and won't guide you in the right direction ...I have only just received this paperwork now because i specifically requested it.

Their letters arrive approximately three weeks after the conversation you have with them so you can't really keep track of where you're up to. They don't acknowledge letters that you send in. I have invited them to come and inspect my home to see that he doesn't live here, to speak to the childrens' school as they are fully aware of our home situation and they haven't so much as acknowledged any of this...just sent out a notice to pay.

It's horrible. I'm fed up of people saying, "oh it'll be fine! You've got nothing to hide" etc, etc. And I don't have anything to hide but they are not relenting...it's just getting worse and worse and I can't see how I can I can really win this appeal when they are so insistent that they have "evidence" that he lives here. They have evidence that he is a twunt maybe and used my address when he shouldn't have done so but that isn't evidence that he lives here because he doesn't!

Sorry to not be able to give you a positive tale. Prepare yourself for a fight, keep records of all calls and letters and get your mp involved if necessary. Good luck x

toomuchicecream Sun 10-Mar-13 07:38:59

Happened to a friend of mine whose twunt of an ExH lives on a narrow boat and so claimed he had to use her address. Despite her asking him repeatedly to take her address off his bank, phone etc, and him saying he has, apparently some things are still registered to her address. As everything is on e-billing she doesn't even get post and the tax credit people wouldn't tell her what it was so she could contact them direct.

She sent them everything requested and anything else she could thing of too, such as a screen print from his facebook page saying his location was a boat. It was fine. So follow all the sound advice here about keeping copies of everything, using recorded post etc etc and be prepared for a long battle.

cozietoesie Sun 10-Mar-13 08:19:37

If you're having trouble, go for a Data Protection subject access request. It's free from most public bodies (although they have the right to charge you a small fee.) You might get some interesting information, particularly from emails where people are generally far too loose about what they say - but more importantly it puts a marker down about your intent and gets your case dealt with by someone a little higher up the food chain so that any problems with the way they're handling it are noticed.

taxcredshelp Sun 10-Mar-13 10:57:07

oh my god now i am seriously shitting it

rosehill i really hope you get it sorted x

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Mar-13 11:21:59

Cozie,

I ment how the electoral roll works,my area is the same as yours.

Rose hill.

That is not enough evidence at all,somewhere along the line something else has happened either with evidence or not providing it in a timely fashion or none co operation. There own rules clearly state they cannot rely on one piece of evidence unless its claiment admission.

And the info to appeal comes with the letter stating whats happening before money is stopped.

So either your mistaken about what happened or they have not followed any of there own rules.

rosehill Sun 10-Mar-13 11:50:58

Sockreturningpixie...I am in no doubt that they're not following their own rules. When I requested my freedom of information file, she told me they, "don't do that". My sister who works in an equally well loved government department confirmed that that is indeed BS!

I have complied, returned everything they have asked for promptly and the first I knew that they had actually made the decision to stop my money was when it wasn't in the bank. I received the letter informing me of this fact three days later.

The first letter simply states that you have the right to appeal but they do have an in depth letter which fully explains the process which they have only now just sent at my request.

MonsieurReynard Sun 10-Mar-13 12:39:42

OP - ex-TC worker here, this sounds pretty routine. There's a compliance project on undeclared partners at the moment (previously there've been projects on childcare, disabled twins, etc - that's all public knowledge), and Sky, utility bills, etc, are used to flag up discrepancies that look like they might need investigating. So chances are, you've not been targetted specifically - explain to your compliance worker (there'll be one allocated to deal with the case, should be a direct dial number on the bottom of the compliance letter) that your partner moved out in Jan 2012 but still pays the Sky, send the evidence, and that should be an end of it. They'll see plenty cases like this and it's usually fairly evident when there's nothing actually wrong - they'd rather close it down quickly and move on to the next case.
The general helpline staff can't contact the compliance worker directly or transfer you, and can only read her/his (sometimes indecipherably abbreviated!) notes on the screen, so you'd get limited help from them on this specific issue.
Oh, and make sure you know what year they're asking about - the letters (unless they've improved drastically from when I was there!) can be really confusing! It'll either be current year (April 2012 - April 2013 - you were presumably living alone for the whole period) or previous year (April 2011 to April 2012 - in which you'd presumably have had a joint award up to Jan 12 and a single award Jan-April) Hope that's of some help, and good luck with it! smile

cozietoesie Sun 10-Mar-13 12:41:54

........When I requested my freedom of information file, she told me they, "don't do that".......

Then put the request in writing with reference to the Data Protection Act (just for the heck of it.) If you get the same response (from someone who doesn't know what the heck they're talking about clearly) then refer the matter immediately to the Information Commissioner.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Mar-13 12:45:49

Rosehill,

And this happened in December? We are now in march what have you done to try and rectify the matter?

Who have you approached for help?

I'm not asking to be stroppy but if I know I may be able to assist you.

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