Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications, experience, or professional insurance of anyone posting on Mumsnet and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Friend been caught defrauding tax credits

(112 Posts)
Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:10:18

Friend just called me in a right state. Has been sick etc. had a letter from hmrc this morning saying they have found out through credit files that she is not a single parent and has been claiming as one.

She has a month to call them and explain herself.

As far as I know it has gone on for a few years.

My sympathy is very limited but I know how skintight they are and that she has used the money to live not for luxuries.

Just wondering if anyone can give me some idea of what may happen to her.

As far as I can make out we are talking thousands

Adviceinscotland Thu 11-Oct-12 08:32:16

Her partner is in the navy.

He still knows nothing off it.

I've not seen her much lately as we are packing up to move away, she knew that I had posted here back in the summer though when looking for advice.

Happylander Wed 10-Oct-12 23:01:01

I am sorry but there is no way that they just used the money to live on. That is a lot of money, more disposable income than I have a month and she knew what she was doing.

I think it is shame she hasn't been charged.

What does her partner do?

Feckbox Wed 10-Oct-12 22:57:55

blimey no wonder people defraud the benefits system

Adviceinscotland Wed 10-Oct-12 22:35:12

Update- friend has overpayment off 18k, should go down to 15-16k after they work out how much she would have been due as a couple last year and subtract that from the total.

No fine or punishment of any sort.

She has not worked out the payment plan yet but seemingly it can be paid over ten years.

Yes, the charity gets the tax back, however gift aid donations are taken off your income when you work out the figures to declare for tax credits. See here

piebaldpony Tue 14-Aug-12 21:57:22

MrsMinivers Don't think that it is you that gets the benefit of gift aid. The gift aid thing is so that charities can claim back the tax that you have paid on any donation. You have to be a taxpayer before a charity can claim back the tax, that's why there is sometimes a box to tick confirming you are taxpayer on forms accompanying charitable donations.

Adviceinscotland Tue 14-Aug-12 18:35:40

67k confused that would buy a house in Scotland!!

ValiumQueen Tue 14-Aug-12 15:52:20

I need to look into stuff like that mrsmini thank you.

For example I realised this year that the scout and guide subscriptions we pay are gift-aided, therefore you can take this figure off your income for tax credits - essentially you get 41p back for every pound you pay in subscriptions

I believe the tax credits database and income tax databases are different, plus you can take things like Gift Aid payments off your income, so easier for everybody to work out their own figures. I imagine it would be a massive job to write a database which links up income figures for two parties, deductions, savings etc etc

ValiumQueen Tue 14-Aug-12 15:41:54

£67K wow! Fingers crossed MooMa that it is a big fat cheque. For us both! I agree they know how much we get paid, and if they communicated directly with the childcare provider who also pays tax etc, or even if we had to provide a letter from childcare provider before the claim is agreed? Oh well. We should hear soon.

MooMa42o Tue 14-Aug-12 15:22:07

No it was disability living allowance, illegitimately claimed for 3 years, i think the final figure was £67k , he was unceremoniously fired & escorted out of the building, nobody new why, then a few months later it is all over the papers, i guess that that was the reason behind the sacking! I agree with Valium queen that the wait between putting in your form is excruciating, hoping they owe you some money all the while stressing out that it could be the other way around, what i don't understand is why do we have to fill out these forms anyway, surly the government knows exactly how much we do or don't get paid & how much benefits we do or don't receive, they should just work it out themselves, why we need to get involved is beyond me! I would take a step back from this "friend" though dishonesty is a bugbear of mine & i would be furious over her actions, fair enough she was "ill" over it but all brought on herself, i not so secretly wish for her to be made an example of & the whole system reviewed!

Adviceinscotland Tue 14-Aug-12 14:52:45

She did tell them he had moved back in for good august 2010 but they said they were only investigating the year starting April 2011 hmm

RedHelenB Tue 14-Aug-12 14:29:59

I take it she didn't admit it had been going on for years though?

Adviceinscotland Tue 14-Aug-12 14:23:14

Was that tax credits mooma?

ValiumQueen Tue 14-Aug-12 14:20:26

I think the way they run the Tax Credit system is flawed and does invite abuse. As far as I can tell they rarely check up on claims, and when they do someone would have had at least 15months worth of money. It is based on guesstimates of earnings and childcare costs, and no proof of either is required at the point of claiming. This also results in a lot of anxieties for families claiming legitimately, as they do not know when or if any monies will be demanded back. I for one am waiting to hear about a review, and I do not know if I will get a lump sum or a big bill.

MooMa42o Tue 14-Aug-12 14:14:58

It's not what you are saying but it is most certainly what the Tax Credits people are saying, i am truly shocked, as a work colleague defrauded HMRC & got sent to prison for a year, i guess they have decided there are different levels of fraud!

Adviceinscotland Tue 14-Aug-12 14:06:29

Mooma, I thought the same to start with but after spending hours searching loads of forums (yes I am to soft) i found that when it's tax credits they very very rarely prosecute even for sums of 15-20k.

Have seen stories of people paying back £100 a month over ten years!!

Dwp on the other hand (income support, housing benefit etc) seem to prosecute for anything over 2k.

The more I looked into it the more I searched for more cases thinking it could not be right but like I said further down the thread I only came across one tax credits case that had ended in prosecution.

Make the wonder this country is in such a state.

I would never advise anyone to try it out though, sounded like I am saying it's a fair gambleblush but what deterrent is there for people not to do it if they are that way inclined?

MooMa42o Tue 14-Aug-12 13:34:38

Sorry i only just saw the rest, wow she got away with it! i am really surprised & saddened that nothing will be done!

MooMa42o Tue 14-Aug-12 13:32:57

For that amount of money i expect it will be a well deserved custodial sentence, it would take far too long to get the money back through repayments, it's the time factor & the amount of money that has been stolen! It is blatantly fraud rather than an oversight!

ValiumQueen Tue 14-Aug-12 13:29:58

I think you are wise. I am surprised they have been so lenient, after all that is our money she has claimed fraudulently. I think you have seen her true colours. Well done for being such a lovely friend, but she is not deserving of you. Do not feel like a twat. You did nothing wrong smile

Adviceinscotland Tue 14-Aug-12 13:23:28

I feel a bit used now actually.

She has to pay back one years money (from April 2011 till now) so now the panic is over for her not having to pay 3 years back she has become quite smug about it all and a feel like a bit of a twat for being so worried and standing by her.

She is waiting to find out what the repayment plan will be but I'm taking a huge step back now.

Wowserz129 Thu 02-Aug-12 22:47:10

How is she getting on OP? okay i hope

Sighingagain Fri 27-Jul-12 20:24:25

All very sad - but then I didn't have the best first marriage - upside is it makes for a great marriage between us, as we both really and truly appreciate each other and are mindful of each others feelings.

lisaro Fri 27-Jul-12 20:17:35

Fair point about the abuse, Sighing.

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