Tax credits compliance letter.

(32 Posts)
Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 19:16:07

I received a letter from HMRC compliance asking for ridiculous amounts of information including 12 months worth of bank statements!!

I am a single parent and always have been, I moved in January of this year (my sisters fiancée let me pick a house which he bought and I legitimately pay him rent every month! My last landlord was selling my old house and my sisters fiancée was looking to do a buy to let so win win situation) anyway when I moved I changed everything to my new address (I work 7.5 hours so claim housing benefit, council tax benefit and I get some income support to top up my earnings again all legitamate!) about 2 weeks after I moved in I got a knock at the door from 2 people who were from the council, they asked to come in and said they were here to do a tenancy check to make sure I was living here, they took proof of id asked a few questions and left (housing benefit is still getting paid so all fine.)
In March I got a letter from DWP saying that they had been informed I was working more than they knew about (which I wasn't!) and they had stopped my payments and I had to send them a years worth of wageslips ( this still hasn't been sorted as the wageslips kept "getting lost" in the post so I sent them recorded delivery yesterday)
Now I have received this letter from DWP for tax credits (I only get child tax which is what I am entitled to) I feel like I am being picked on, my daughter is now 4 and I have never been through anything like this when claiming my benefits!!
I'm so stressed with money as my income support (for all it isn't much) has been stopped and they are now threatening to stop my tax credits!
Has anyone else been through this? This makes me think being honest isn't always best as I am so stressed out with money and no1 can help me!!

Sorry for the long post but I had to fit everything in.

dreamingofsun Tue 08-Jul-14 19:31:59

can you not find more than 7.5 hours? I assume we are talking per week, rather than per day? then you wouldn't have to rely on handouts so much?

picnicbasketcase Tue 08-Jul-14 19:37:11

Is it possible that someone has reported you for benefit fraud because they think you shouldn't be able to pay the rent on the house you have unless you're lying about what you earn? Either maliciously or just mistakenly?

Simile Tue 08-Jul-14 19:42:57

Try not to feel picked on (easier said than done I know). I've been through compliance because my circumstances changed numerous times in the space of 3 months. They simply needed to make sure I was getting /going to get the benefits I was entitled to.

It was a pain to gather the relevant information and I also found it stressful but the Compliance Office I dealt with was lovely.

From DWPs point of view there is a possibility that they've given you the wrong benefits and they want to make sure its right.

Chin up, you've already sent your information so you're mostly there. Tax credit letters are out this time of year too. thanks

Appletini Tue 08-Jul-14 20:13:43

Call your MP's office. When the DWP kept losing my paperwork I called mine and they sorted it very quickly for me.

Bogeyface Tue 08-Jul-14 20:18:57

can you not find more than 7.5 hours? I assume we are talking per week, rather than per day? then you wouldn't have to rely on handouts so much?

Doesnt really solve the current issue does it? It wont make it go away and it wont make them find the "lost" paperwork. And they are not "handouts" they are benefits put in place for people who, for whatever reason, cant earn enough to support themselves. My husband has years of experience and many professional qualifications in his field. After 6 months of unemployment after redundancy, all he could get was NMW 0 hours contract work, so that is what he does. 18 months later I have had precisely 4 interviews and no job offers. The real world is over here! [waves]

Bearfrills Tue 08-Jul-14 20:20:30

Handouts? Really? hmm

OP, to me it sounds like someone has either reported you for suspected benefit fraud OR they've done a spot check on your records and they want to check the payment amounts are correct - compliance do carry out regular accuracy checks on claims.

Either way, don't be afraid of them - you have nothing to hide and it's not personal, they're just doing their jobs. Provide the information they've asked for (which you have done), ask how long it will take for them to sort it out, and if it takes too long or you feel like they are messing you around lodge a complaint and speak to your MP.

Hope you get sorted soon.

trappedinsuburbia Tue 08-Jul-14 20:21:31

This has happened to me numerous times, as a single parent I felt hounded, especially when I claimed income support for 8 weeks.
Get onto your mp so they will hurry your investigation along and just srnd them the info they ask for.
Im on 16 hours so usually get a random compliance check every year from tax credits.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 08-Jul-14 20:23:57

Just provide the information They are asking for.

It won't be anything other than a random check because you fit into a risk group

Lone parent working but not 16 hours is a risk group

littleblackno Tue 08-Jul-14 20:27:03

This has happened to me re tax credits 2 years running I had to send in everything. I just assumed it was a spot check as my circumstances had changed a few times in bith years. I know it may feel like you are being hounded but I wouldn't worry just send the stuff off and they'll do the rest. Both times with mine nothing changed or got stopped.

As for people saying you are relying in handouts thats really not helpful so ignore them.

flaggybannel Tue 08-Jul-14 20:32:06

op, please try not to worry.
I had a compliance letter a few years ago after a council visit as you describe, they even took photographs of paperwork I had to hand then and there. I've always been a single parent, at the time my circumstances had not changed for around 10 years and I suspect I may have been reported as work changed our uniforms so I was leaving the house more obviously going to work iyswim?
ended up having an hour long phone call at an arranged time with a compliance officer and they also wanted as many bills, payslips and household admin as I could find - I sent them everything I had paperwork wise recorded delivery, when they sent it all back including bank statements etc they sent it to the wrong house but that's a different story! ( compliance office could not apologise enough BTW! )
it turned out fine in the finish, everything was up to date and correct but it was a long worring wait while they went through everything with a fine tooth comb, apparently my name had been thrown up by ' the system ' but who knows?
if you have nothing to hide then please don't worry, its just a very detailed check of your circumstances, its very like being targeted I agree, and feels invasive but the compliance officer mentioned as I had now had a check I should never have this happen again.
super long post! blush just wanted you to know your not the first and won't be the last to have this put on you, and all will be well.

PosingInManilla Tue 08-Jul-14 20:32:37

Tmj00004

In March I got a letter from DWP saying that they had been informed I was working more than they knew about (which I wasn't!)

If the DWP have been informed, you can bet the HMRC will have been too - no way is this random because you fall into a risk group OP. Somebody has tried to make trouble for you.

Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 20:48:10

can you not find more than 7.5 hours? I assume we are talking per week, rather than per day? then you wouldn't have to rely on handouts so much?
I went back to work when my daughter was only 4 months old and worked 30 hours per week and my wages only just covered my childcare!! I cut down to 7.5 hours when I went to college in 2012/2013 so I went to college mostly all week and worked a Saturday, I am now taking a year out before starting University in September when my daughter starts school, I have always been hard working so to say it's handouts is a bit of an insult to be honest!

As for everyone else thanks for the reassurance, it's just frustrating having to send the same stuff over and over when I am a genuine claimant who doesn't lie and I know there are plenty of people out there who do and get away with it.

Spoke to CAB who think it might be because my sisters fiancée bought the house and I moved in that day, plus I still get lots of post from the previous owners, bank statements, wageslips the lot!

Income support are a nightmare, they keep claiming they havn't received my documents but they returned someone else's wageslip to me and when I phoned they just said it had been an error (a pretty huge one I think as it had all the ladies details on it) and said they'd sent me a prepaid envelope to return it to them which I never received so I posted it direct back to her and enclosed a letter informing her of their mistake!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 08-Jul-14 20:56:40

OK, so you are only working 7.5 hours per week because you are only free to work one day per week? That makes sense to me.

Better to be working one day a week than not at all surely.

As to why it's happening to you - it could be that you have been reported by someone, or it could be a random check. It also could be that your low working hours per week have aroused someone's suspicion. Although, if you were under declaring, surely you would declare 16 hours as that makes you eligible for WTC too (unless things have changed).

Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:02:41

As to why it's happening to you - it could be that you have been reported by someone, or it could be a random check. It also could be that your low working hours per week have aroused someone's suspicion. Although, if you were under declaring, surely you would declare 16 hours as that makes you eligible for WTC too (unless things have changed).

That's what I don't understand, I would see the point if I was claiming wtc etc but i only claim child tax! When I worked more hours I got wtc and some towards my childcare which amounted to a lot more a week than I get now and never had to send them proof of anything, now i am getting the minimum and they want to see everything..... Doesn't make sense to me!

JaimeT Tue 08-Jul-14 21:07:54

It's not just you OP!!
I had the same letter, just sent a years worth of paperwork, recorded delivery. I moved 3 times this year, changed childcare at least 4 times and started full time work during the year as well. Needless to say there was a mountain of paper.

It was returned recorded delivery 2 days later with a letter saying all was well smile I don't think they even read what I sent.

Loletta Tue 08-Jul-14 21:21:44

For all the people who are telling her not to worry, she's being denied her Income Support so over £70 per week, probably half of her benefits income. How are you managing to pay your bills OP?
I think you need to see your MP ASAP and make it clear that you can't sustain yourself and your DD without having to resort to Wonga. They must reinstate your IS. Disgraceful that they would stop it based on someone stoping you.sad

jacks365 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:25:23

I'd bet it's the previous owners wageslips that are triggering the checks, hmrc will have their income showing for your address. If you get anything like that return to sender do not forward it on. I got a compliance letter and managed to sort everything with a phone call. Scary when the letter came but it was easy to actually deal with. The compliance office I dealt with couldn't have been more helpful.

Thecircle Tue 08-Jul-14 21:30:26

I'd second seeing your mp re your income support op, they are very useful in hurrying things along.

I work for hmrc, although not in compliance however I'd imagine this is something to do with your address.

Do you have a legitimate tenancy agreement? Does landlord definitely have buy to let mortgage? Does any post for landlord come to your house?

It could be as simple as his name being connected to that address, have hmrc asked about an undeclared partner?

Send all info recorded delivery, bank statements, tenancy agreement, pay slips. With a covering letter explaining the changes in your circumstances.

If you have nothing to hide then you will be absolutely fine, checks are carried out more often than not now on benefit claims, sometimes rightly sometimes wrongly but they are necessary.

Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:36:16

How are you managing to pay your bills OP?
I get CSA for my daughter which I am having to use to pay my car (this usually goes straight into my daughters savings as in my eyes it isn't my money it's hers), I am relying on tax credits and my £200 per month wage to pay my general monthly bills and my housing benefit helps with my rent but my mum and dad are covering the rest and helping me out with shopping etc that I need but this will need to be paid back to them when it's sorted out!

I was just passing the letters onto the previous owners (it's a small village I live in and everyone knows everyone so I know her) but when I got the tax credits compliance letter I told her I would have to post everything back as not at this address as this is obviously effecting me! Her daughter got a letter with a card in it, as I could feel it through the envelope so whether she is still applying for stuff here I don't know but I think I have given them plenty of time to sort their stuff out!

Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:40:53

*Do you have a legitimate tenancy agreement? Does landlord definitely have buy to let mortgage? Does any post for landlord come to your house?

It could be as simple as his name being connected to that address, have hmrc asked about an undeclared partner? *

Yes I have a legitimate tenancy agreement and it is definitely a buy to let mortgage, he has 2 properties on buy to lets and has his own home on a mortgage (he is a financial manager for a big company so I know he's legit!)

When I first moved in a letter from the electrol people came addressed to my landlord and it was to register, he gave it to me and I filled it in with my details and sent it off. Council tax, bills etc are all in my name and have been since I moved in as I sorted all that out myself. HMRC never mentioned anything about an undeclared partner.

Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:42:18

*Do you have a legitimate tenancy agreement? Does landlord definitely have buy to let mortgage? Does any post for landlord come to your house?
It could be as simple as his name being connected to that address, have hmrc asked about an undeclared partner? *

Yes I have a legitimate tenancy agreement and it is definitely a buy to let mortgage, he has 2 properties on buy to lets and has his own home on a mortgage (he is a financial manager for a big company so I know he's legit!) he's also a registered landlord with my local council.

When I first moved in a letter from the electrol people came addressed to my landlord and it was to register, he gave it to me and I filled it in with my details and sent it off. Council tax, bills etc are all in my name and have been since I moved in as I sorted all that out myself. HMRC never mentioned anything about an undeclared partner.

Thecircle Tue 08-Jul-14 21:46:12

Ok, that's all good. Like I said send copies of everything to address given, compliance sounds scary- as another poster said they are usually very nice people who are just doing a job and following a process.

Have you got an award notice recently from tax credits? If so check income amount for you. Send your p60 to compliance also if you can

Tmj00004 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:58:38

Have you got an award notice recently from tax credits? If so check income amount for you. Send your p60 to compliance also if you can

I got a new one when I changed address, everything on it is correct, I sent them my P60 along with my mountain of bank statements, my electricity bill, my housing benefit notification and my Csa letter.

queenofthemountain Tue 08-Jul-14 22:04:02

Compliance checks are done as a matter of course on people claiming high levels of tax credits or soetimes random checks.It is not because there is any suspicion of wrong doing and your tax credits don't stop whilst they are doing the checks.

Thecircle Tue 08-Jul-14 22:05:04

I doubt you will have any problems then, definitely get onto your mp ASAP about your income support- with hmrc calls from mp's do wonders

Proclean Tue 08-Jul-14 22:41:21

When my kids were younger the tax credits wrote to me stating I owed back nearly £9000, I was considerably upset and rang them, it was then stated that they had no records to suggest I owed anything and they didn't know why I had been sent that.

For the last year of my entitlement before youngest dc became too old for me to claim, I deliberately did not claim my allowance because I no longer trusted them not to suddenly declare me indebted to them by phenominal amounts! :-(

taxi4ballet Wed 09-Jul-14 00:06:47

I agree with the others who say it could well be to do with the post you are still receiving that is addressed to the previous occupants, and this is making them think that there is more than one adult living at the address.

Could it also be that they have checked and found out that the property was bought by a man and you moved in straight away. Perhaps they think your partner owns the property and you are pretending to pay 'rent' to him? It is a common scam I believe, and they will want to check your bank statements to see whether you are really paying rent or not.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 09-Jul-14 21:44:07

If the DWP have been informed, you can bet the HMRC will have been too - no way is this random because you fall into a risk group OP. Somebody has tried to make trouble for you

Hmrc have recently been given guidance on letters issued.

They start with "we have reason to believe we are paying you to much" (could be a word or 2 out) and subsequent letters refer to discrepancies.(even if they have no information suggesting any)

Compliance staff have complained about these letters saying they are hostile and imply wrong doing on behalf of the client but they have been told they have to use them.

The reason for this is that stupid people who are doing something wrong are more likely to fess up if they think they already know. These letters are being used for BOTH the random and data match checks. If you are doing nothing wrong its always a random rather than data match check

Incidentally they have also been issued guidance that states if a customer does not provide information requested in the requested format then cease award and treat it as if no information has been received. (This particular it of guidance is being challenged by several support services)

UnderEstherMate Wed 09-Jul-14 21:50:09

Apologies if I haven't RTFT properly and someone has already mentioned this (I'm exhausted!) But isn't it the case that they say you can't claim housing benefit if your landlord is family. Perhaps him being your sister's fiancé is a factor, even though they're not married yet?

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 10-Jul-14 08:38:16

That's all to do with contrived tenancies and a sisters husband or stbdh would not be an issue.

Also in some circumstances providing they don't live in the house you can rent off some relatives

UncleT Thu 10-Jul-14 09:35:42

While it's not nice to go through, compliance checks are necessary and not unique to you OP. Just give them what they ask for and all will be well. The government has a right to make such checks, and generally for good reason (which is not for a second to suggest any wrongdoing in your case, but merely to help improve and maintain integrity of the system).

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now