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TAX CREDIT REVIEW HELP!! Please! Long post sorry..(26 Posts)
I have got a letter asking why I have made a single claim, instead of a joint one. They have his name. He's my ex! We don't live together! We do have a daughter together though. But we haven't been a couple for two years! They say a credit ref agency has sent them info that shows there may be another adult living at my address. They want a load of info from May - July 2012 and Jan - March 2013, bank statements, rent agreement, council tax bills, gas, electric and water bills, phone bill, credit card statements, and 'any other info' to explain why I claimed as a single person.
I have gathered most of it together, rent agreement (in my name) council tax bills (my name with 25% discount) gas,electric, water bills, (all in my name) I also have the receipts for paying these which will correspond on my bank statements as I pay fortnightly at the post office on payment cards as I have previous debt that I pay off along with my usage. I need to print off my credit card statement as they are online only (also my name) I have to print off also my plusnet phone/internet bill as that is online too (my name) The only 'other info' I can think of to give is my TV licence.. which I have a copy of (my name of course!) All of which you can see on my bank statements comes out of my bank. What else could I send them?
Looking at my bank statements it's obvious I'm single I'm hoping! The only thing that isn't housing benefit/income support/tax credits/child benefit that goes in my account is two lots of £70 (he gave to his mum to give to me for our daughters swimming lessons) which you can see on the statement goes straight to the swimming instructors bank account. Also £150 from my nanna at Xmas and £150 from her again around my wee girls birthday. I have an ISA in my name for our daughter that we both put £10 into every month. It has about £700 in it. No money has ever been taken out of it. I have copies of the in goings which I printed off at the bank, so sending that as well...
From reading a lot of other posts (some of which make me worried!) the only thing I can see connecting him here is a bank statement of his that gets mailed here. I said numerous times for him to change his address at the bank (he now lives with his two brothers, mum and his stepdad in a village a few miles away) I have a huge pile of them here unopened which he's never bothered about picking up as I guess he has online banking. I also spoke to him briefly about this letter and he said my address is on his wage slips but as they get given out at work and not posted, he's never changed that either! He said he will do it asap. But he also said he would do with the bank statements ages ago and never bothered!
The thing that does worry me is the talk of penalties and prosecution on the letter! What if they decide I'm lying and stop my tax credits??? I struggle as it is! Then there is the case of my income support and housing benefit Will they then stop them too and prosecute me? I don't know what I'd do! My wee girl isn't at school yet and I can't go to work! (My previous employer sacked me 8 days after I told them I was pregnant so I had to go onto benefits)
I have to send them everything by 29/05/13 then I have up to 31st July to 'finalise my award' or I can call them to finalise earlier. It's a really scary letter and It's worrying me! Can anyone who works for CAB or tax credit people or anyone who has had one of thee letters please advise me what else I can do?
Sounds like you have some strong evidence to support your single person claim, send all the bank statements back marked as "not at this address" ask the Post Office for proof of posting (no charge) and include that in the evidence you submit.
Anyone from CAB or tax credit employee got answers to my Q? Or even anyone been in this situation? TIA
P.s Thanks for your reply WhoWhatWhereWhen Still really concerned though!
I just got your pm and came over to look.
Your evidence should be enough but it does very much sound like the information they are using is him not changing his address with his bank and work.
Make sure you provide everything they ask for but enclose a cover letter stating when he left where he lives ( you shouldn't provide anything formal of proof of this as you having access to his personal documents is an issue)
And include in it that as far as you are aware he has not bothered to change his address with his bank but that you have sent ever single communication addressed to him at your address back as not known at this address. ( and obviously do it)
Include the line "if he is continuing to use my address its possible its for fraudulent reasons that are solely his actions, but as I have no rights to obtain any info about him nor are we friendly so i can not ask him I would have no knowledge of this,it is my understanding that dwp/hmrc is obliged to report reasonable evidence of fraud to the correct authorities please do so in order to prevent any continuance of this possibility"
Make sure you specify the isa is your daughters even better if you can add her name to it ( very silly that you haven't from a benefit perspective)
Make it very very clear that the only contact you have is solely related to child contact and activities.that you do not even socialise togather.
State that the two £70 transactions are as a result of his maintenance agreement to fund this aspect of your child's activity and actually point out that the money can be seen leaving straight away to fund the specified activity.
That's all I can think off at the mo unfortunatly my brain is a bit frazzled due to just finishing a huge drive.
Just incase anybody else reads this looking for info if you only take on board one bit of info from any tax credit thread let it be this....
If a letter of any description arrives at your home for a ex or any other adult ( apart from one you personally gave birth to or adopted) who does not live in your home then the most essential thing you can do is mark it not known at this address and put it back in the post. And file a disassociation with the credit ref agencies as a matter of urgency.
The reason for this is most fraud investigations are done from behind a desk credit reference agencies use info given by various companies to build up a picture of who is where and pass this on calling it 'data matching' given how the investigations are done a bank or financially related letter combined with no disassociation is enough to stop your claim. They don't care what you say they only care about what they can prove using the Internet. Once your claim has stopped you have a good chance on appeal but it takes time and effort.
Is your kindness towards you ex by handing over his letters or forwarding them to him/ her worth being skint for a couple of months?
Thanks for your reply, I will do just that. If anyone else has anything to add that may help I would really be grateful for it. I'm really worried that if they conclude I'm being untruthful they will tell the income support and housing benefit authorities and then I will lose my home or be prosecuted by them too!
Can't you ask for a home visit from housing officer? Obviously this is dependant on you being in social housing they often have advisors who can help and also shows your not hiding anything.
I live in private rented accommodation so not sure if that's still possible? I have the rental tenancy agreement to send them signed by my landlord and myself. Just in my name... of course.
I did have a customer compliance officer visit before christmas for an income support review. I was worried why but it was just routine and she was very nice.
Just an update if anyone knows the answer to any of my unanswered questions. I have printed off forms to get financial disassociation and filled out, but they say I need an up to date credit report and put the reference number on them.. sigh.. don't have time for that it takes ages! I can't add my daughters name to the ISA so I am opening a junior account tomorrow and transferring all the ISA money over. I'll have to cancel the £10 transfer from his account to the ISA and close it. If I send proof I have done this do you think it will help?
Cancelling it won't make a jot of a difference you just need to prove its your daughters.
You need the disassociation no matter how long it takes it is one if the single most important bit of evidence data matching can provide in your favour
Okay... I'll need to apply for my credit report from all 3 credit authorities (experian/equifax/Callcredit) and get the reference numbers for the forms I need to fill out from them... how can I prove the ISA was for my daughter? It's in my name £10 from my account and her fathers father's went in it at the end of every month and no money ever came out.
SOCKRETURNINGPIXIE - I have bought my report for £2 on Equifax and it says there are no data present for financial associates. Does that mean I can cross that company off the list and no need to ask for financial disassociation with them? Just going to go on to Experian and the other one too and check them to see if it's on my credit report with them.
Ugh! I have had a free credit report from experian a couple years ago so now I have to pay £14.99 to see it now!
I would submit the form anyway, with experian you shouldn't have to see the report just fill out and submit this form
Thanks for the link, I printed off these forms http://www.thecreditagency.co.uk/credit-report/check-my/financial-disassociation.html - It asks for their report reference number (printed on the credit report) on the form you have linked to and on the one I have (they are pretty much the same) Is the reference number not that important then? I want to see it anyway to see if his name is associated on it, Call credit can't seem to 'process my statutory report with the info i have submitted' even though the other two did....
Oh and FYI anyone reading - I didn't end up paying the £14.99 to experian, they don't link to their £2 statutory credit report easily from the experian homepage, I had to search for it directly on my browser. Sneaky
In all fairness I have never done it using there own form I've always just put the info in a letter,
Its not something I have had to do for ages
Okay, thanks for your advice so far, I was thinking last night in bed.. (as I'm not sleeping very well because of this) the only 'proof' if you can call it that of the ISA being for my daughter is that it was opened literally 6 weeks after she was born. I have the opening balance statement, and my daughters birth certificate to show her date of birth, can I just send them a copy of the birth cert? Don't really want to send the original incase they lose it! I want all these documents sent back.. will they send them back once they're all done?
Yes they will return them, using there own rules your evidence and your explanation for the isa should be good enough.
The only danger is someone behind a desk won't bother to look further than the data matching but if that happens you have a great case for an appeal.
Okay, I hope that doesn't happen! Surely they have to consider everything I will be sending or else why would they bother asking for it if they were just going to use the data matching stuff?
I opened a junior account which has my daughters name on it today. I had all the ISA money transferred over to it and closed the ISA. My standing order of £10 will be going into the new one with her name on it. Doubt I'll be speaking to her father though, pretty sure his standing order for the ISA will be cancelled now the ISA account is closed? I have printouts from the bank showing all that I have done with the accounts. Still worried. Just wish it could be over with already.
Yes they do,but they rely on people thinking they always get it right and not challenging them same as most gov org's and benefit depts
Well I guess I will have to try not worry about what is out of my hands. I have got all they've asked for plus a few extra things. Need to print off my cover letter and put it all in a box file and send off on Monday. Thanks again for all your advice, I will update the outcome incase anyone is interested :/
I would just like to let you know the outcome of my tax credit review 2012-13 and 2013-14.
I received a letter today dated 24/06/2013, it stated that they have considered the information I gave them on 22/05/2013 and they accept my single claim from 11 April 2012 and that they do not need to amend my award.
Also stated is that I still need to finalise my tax credit award for 2012-13 when I receive the renewal declaration for the year 2012-13 by phoning them by 31/07/13.
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