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Child Tax credit scary Letter~Confused

(56 Posts)
passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:07:19

I received a letter today saying my child tax credit is under review because they have run a credit check and can see my X partner as still living here. He does still live here but we live as permanently separated (until we can afford a divorce) and I have always told them this. They themselves told me I could claim as a single parent if we were permanently separated but still living in the same house. We were forced to stay together due to severe financial problems with neither one being able to afford to move out. He pays me maintenance, which I use to pay food and some bills but he does pay some of the bills also. He eats, sleeps, washes and lives separate from me. Most of the bills are in my name except for the council tax which we never bothered to amend. I can't understand why they have pounced on me when they said to go ahead and claim in my circumstances anyway. My bank account is in my name but a couple of bills are still in joint names. Apparently we can now be in trouble for this? If he is paying the mortgage and some bills because he lives under the same roof but separated from me, surely they can see he would pay some bills? Has anyone got any advice on what to expect as I get a bad feeling even though we really are separated and they themselves accepted that without question till now? Very worried ty

ThingummyBob Thu 14-Feb-13 08:14:29

Its pretty clear cut about when to make a single or joint claim hmm

See www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/start/claiming/get-started/joint-single-claim.htm]]

You are living together and therefore should have made a joint claim. Best thing is to co-operate fully and hope that they simply reclaim the overpaid amounts (if that is the case) rather than applying fines or penalties on top.

RedHelenB Thu 14-Feb-13 08:20:56

If he is paying some bills, the mortgage & maintenance then in effect your financial lives are still joint & you shouldn't be making a separate claim.

RedHelenB Thu 14-Feb-13 08:22:07

Not being funny, but every couple could do this & be raking it in. I think it will just be a case of having to pay any overpayment back.

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:39:39

We are living as permanently separated . I even doubled checked with them that I could claim! Can anyone not judge but instead help! ty

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:42:49

Yep thingymebob it is! It states if you are under the same roof but living as separated you can claim as a single person. I even double checked at the time! They were the ones that told me I could!

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:43:18

we are not living 'together'

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:44:00

that may be the case but we are not a couple anymore. I just want someone to stop judging and help!

RedHelenB Thu 14-Feb-13 08:44:39

I'm not judging but from what you have written to an outsider looks as though you are still linked financially. I think that it would be easier to allow claims only if you are living separately precisely because of the situation you now find yourselves in. It may well be that when they investigate it they will see you are living separately so don't worry.

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:46:36

thanks...even after a divorce people are linked financially....they told me it was fine he paid maintenance... seems they get people to apply then pounce on them later! I gave full honest arrangements and details! thanks for help

HystericalParoxysm Thu 14-Feb-13 08:46:39

You can claim as a single person whilst still under the same roof. However, as the rules state, you are expected to have separate bank accounts as well as not eating, sleeping, socialising together.

fergoose Thu 14-Feb-13 08:48:38

when you told them you were separated and they advised you what to claim was it via phone - do you know the date? They record calls don't they?

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 08:50:01

Yes, we have separate bank accounts and all the rest. They don't say anything about who pays the bills /some of bills? Is there a Citizens advice person available? ty smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Feb-13 08:56:54

I know you don't want to be judged but 'judgement' is the only way HMRC (or the benefits system generally) can do this kind of thing. If you appear to be cohabiting to all intents and purposes you are determined to be cohabiting. I'm sure you did tell them all this in advance but I don't think you've met the criteria for being deemed 'separate'.... sorry.

gracehedley Thu 14-Feb-13 09:08:51

OP, this happened to me. I had to give very detailed info about our lifestyles and how the bills were paid etc, and also supply a letter from the solicitor which showed that divorce proceedings were underway and that this was a temporary living arrangement - even though it went on for a couple of years.

ThingummyBob Thu 14-Feb-13 09:15:39

Yep thingymebob it is! It states if you are under the same roof but living as separated you can claim as a single person. I even double checked at the time! They were the ones that told me I could!

Where exactly?

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 09:27:17

if you go on the website you can look it up

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 09:28:23

not true Cogito..but ty

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 09:29:26

hi grace, was he still paying some of the bills?

gracehedley Thu 14-Feb-13 09:44:11

Hi, I paid for everything and then he gave me a percentage. We also did absolutely NOTHING together - no socialising, no outings with our son, he didn't use washing machine, had separate food cupboard in kitchen, lots of things like that. Had to explain all this to them and did expect a visit, but they decided it wasn't needed. Divorce was in process and I think having evidence of this helped.

ThingummyBob Thu 14-Feb-13 09:51:42

Do you have a link please OP?

I can't seem to find anywhere that says two unmarried ex partners who share responsbility for household bills could be seemed as separate for tc purposes?

I may be missing something. . .

ThingummyBob Thu 14-Feb-13 09:54:05

You should be aware that a married couple legally separating/divorcing (as graces situation suggests) are not the same as unmarried co-habitees 'separating' yet remaining under the same roof and sharing household bills as your post suggests.

passingcat Thu 14-Feb-13 10:03:02

If you read my post you will see I said we are still married, not yet divorced. Just mind your own business now and stop throwing stones

ThingummyBob Thu 14-Feb-13 10:21:16

ok then, you'll have no problem clearing it all up then will you wink

Locketjuice Thu 14-Feb-13 10:27:47

I have always been told that if living together you are counted as 'together' whether that's romantically or not, so I presume all the money you have claimed you will have to pay back, but be able to make a joint claim and pay it back bit by bit out of that

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