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Tax Credit Childcare fraud

(43 Posts)
sicknotemum Mon 10-Jun-13 13:52:14

Please HELP!

I have just received a letter from the compliance team at hmrc telling me they are checking my claim for childcare. I know I have done the wrong thing but when my eldest child went to nursery in Sept 11 I didn't let hmrc know and continued to receive childcare costs for 2 children in childcare rather than one. I then rang at the end of august 12 to say that only one child would still be in childcare as the other was ready for primary one. they are now looking for receipts etc to confirm that both children were there and obviously only one child was. I am really scared and I know I have done wrong but has this happened to anyone else? please advise what I should do? x

I had a fuck up once with childcare (2 nurseries at same time) and they said if I had been overpaid they would have made me pay it back plus 30% as a penalty. It went up to 50% for a second offence then prosecution iirc.

Viviennemary Tue 20-Aug-13 17:04:25

You've done a wrong thing. None of us are perfect. Just say you made a mistake and shouldn't have claimed for your other DC. I don't agree with this but can't believe how harsh people are being to the OP. I agree with ring the CAB for advice.

Shula007 Tue 20-Aug-13 13:17:23

I Told the lovely people at the compliance Office I would do this. After leaving my husband earlier this year I had to submit a new single claim. After claiming tax credits over the last 4 years I was subject to a compliance check. I got the nasty letter (that is apparently a generic letter used to make people feel mildly threatened if they have been falsely claiming) and contacted my local womens aid office for help. They arranged for an emergency appointment at our local Citizens advice office within a week. The man from CAB asked me for information after gathering together (frantically as they only give you 3 weeks to get the information) wage slips, benefit awards, childcare contracts and receipts and a letter from my childcare provider highlighting that they have yet to raise invoices for July 2013, any other benfits, 3 years of P60s and utility bills and rental information. The CAB contacted the direct dial number on my letter and informed them that I was unable to find a couple of my wage slips and they confirmed that they only wanted information form April this year - not for the last 3 years as requested in their letter. My CAB person then gave me a list of all the documents that the tax credits actually wanted and I sent all of the original documents by recorded delivery on 09/08/2013.

I spoke to the office on 12/08/2013 and spoke to a really nice man who explained that the lady dealing with my claim was on her jollies but he would try to process my documents that day as I had been 9 weeks without money.

I spoke to the office on 13/08/2013 and they confirmed that my award had now been processed and to call the tax credit number on 19/08/2013 to find out about my payments - so I did and will be getting my back dated award tomorrow!!

I thought I would write this just to let you know that its not all that bad and I have read so many horror stories that I thought it was about time someone wrost something positive.

If you are a single mum looking for help then womens aid and citizens advice have been amazing and I would stronly recommend this action as it made what I had to do seem clearer . Big hugs to you all who are going through this too.

sicknotemum Mon 17-Jun-13 15:26:47

Thank you all for your replies, me and my hubby wrote to them last week telling them the situation, so fingers crossed we get a reply soon, I def feel a whole lot better now that its out there, so just have to wait and see what they come back with. I'll let you know what the outcome is. Thanks again. x

Frontdoorstep Wed 12-Jun-13 18:33:12

I would phone now and tell them what the situation is now, don't bother saying you lied or forgot to tell them, just keep it as brief as you can, tell them what the situation is now. I'm sure they have to deal with this kind of thing all the time.

You'll have to pay the money back, I would guess they'll do this by not paying you for a while rather than you paying the money back.

I think the chances of you going to jail or even court are very small, almost non existent, I would think. It's not a huge amount of money. Our prisons are overcrowded as it is, they're not going to jail someone for a relatively small sum of money, especially not someone with children to look after.

But for goodness sake tell them now, it is stressing you so much you will feel better once you tell them.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 17:26:15

It's very hard when you are used to the income to suddenly not have it , however of course it's not right to do that but lets face it thousands do this and the point is what can we do to help OP now. I'm guessing if they realise u could say you forgot to notify them , if you get a penalty you will have to pay it and pay the over payment back , I do t know how it works I've not been in that position however I doubt very much it would be much worse then that .

Monty27 Tue 11-Jun-13 00:29:17

They'll just take it back out of current claim. Don't worry.

Hiddenbiscuits Tue 11-Jun-13 00:21:46

OP my friend did the same thing and got found out about a year after her DD started school, she now pays back just a few pounds a week. Don't ignore the letter though as my friend did because they summoned her to court eventually. She saw a benefits advisor at the local council who helped her write letters to the people she owed money to, it was a very stressful time but all sorted now and she has put it behind her. Good luck smile

MoodyDidIt Mon 10-Jun-13 17:02:19

oh god op what made you do that? sad

not judging as a few years ago when i was a single parent i lied about something when i went back to work, of course -someone grassed me up-- i got found out, and had to pay it back. but the reason i lied was because i was scared of not having any money. they were nice about it as i was upfront (in the end) but it was very scary and stressful

just be totally honest, as others have said. and maybe visit citizens advice. x

TheFallenNinja Mon 10-Jun-13 16:26:01

Just fess up, see what they say. Some good legal advice wouldn't be a bad thing.

Sorry, not 2 years. I didn't read you OP properly, I thought you were still claiming now.

You won't go to jail.

You know you did the wrong thing and now you have to sort it out.

It doesn't matter how many people are defrauding the system, it doesn't make it right, everyone that does it must be aware that there is a big chance they will get caught but take the risk anyway.

I think you are going to have to get legal advice, from the CAB. because this has been going on for almost 2 years now and the only reason you are now giving the correct info is because they are writing to you, not because you realise you made a mistake.

Contact CAB as soon as possible.

MisselthwaiteManor Mon 10-Jun-13 15:30:45

If you phone I would also send a letter recorded delivery outlining the same things so you have proof that you did offer them information.

MisselthwaiteManor Mon 10-Jun-13 15:28:59

There's a search box: www.mumsnet.com/Talk?showsearch=arch

ivykaty44 Mon 10-Jun-13 15:28:45

sicknotmum - please don't worry it will be ok if you now help the tax credit people with what you know

I would write down all the facts and figures as best you can remember them

then go and tell the tax credit people this is what you think was paid in error and you want to pay it back and have a plan to pay it back. Seee what they say and take it from there. If you phone them make a note of the day and time and the name of the person you spoke to incase you need to recall this information at a later dat.

sicknotemum Mon 10-Jun-13 15:21:26

Thanks, how do I check if there are any other threads like mine to possibly find out what the outcome was?

MisselthwaiteManor Mon 10-Jun-13 15:13:52

You won't go to jail. Read the link I posted, it'll only become criminal if it's serious organised fraud, you fake documents or hide documents etc

sicknotemum Mon 10-Jun-13 15:10:35

I know I have done the wrong thing and I am in no way looking for sympathy from anyone, I am just really scared and can't hep thinking about possibly having to go to jail!

MisselthwaiteManor Mon 10-Jun-13 15:06:37

Reading the tax credits website it says they may reduce the penalty if you offer up the information voluntarily so your best bet is to be totally honest and prepared to pay back what you've stolen.

Times are hard for a lot of people but not all of us resort to theft so that won't get you any sympathy.

BabyStone Mon 10-Jun-13 14:58:32

Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau.

sicknotemum Mon 10-Jun-13 14:51:00

Sorry not sure what CAB is?

FiveSugarsPlease Mon 10-Jun-13 14:49:03

If you are going to phone them, maybe write down a little list of points you want to make? Just so you don't dissolve into a bumbling nervous wreck.

Could you visit CAB and ask them to call on your behalf, or sit with you while you make the call on loudspeaker?

And as for the other people you know who seem to be getting away with their fraud, it will catch up with them eventually. Same as it has done with you. Yours just caught up sooner.

sicknotemum Mon 10-Jun-13 14:44:42

I think I might have to ring them rather than send a letter cause I will never be able to sit waiting to hear what is going to happen whereas if we phone them they might give us some more info over phone. Is there anyone we should contact to maybe help us with the situation so we are not on our own?

sicknotemum Mon 10-Jun-13 14:42:46

I know I have t be honest and that we are totally to blame and I am not looking for excuses I am just very very scared! I actually feel like throwing up! I totally understand we will have to pay back the overpayment and a fine, but there is no way we could pay it all in one go! And no I was definitely not living the life of riley, if only! Again I know a load of other people who are frauding the system but seem to know how to do it right and never get caught. I know we should never have done it in the first place and knew we would get caught but it was so hard when we had money issues!

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