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I didnt tell HMRC I stopped working. Am I in trouble?

(51 Posts)
susanawan Thu 16-May-13 13:04:57

Ok so first of all I'm not proud of what I've done but I really need help.

Last year march I was getting income support and other benefits because I'm a single parent and I have a 5 yr old daughter. I was keen to get out of benefits and start working so I got a job as a trainee beauty therapist. It was not apprenticeship but train while you work so I was given 600 pounds a month as salary and I was working 42 hours a week. After about 2-3 months I had to leave the job but I didn't notify HMRC that I stopped working. I was scared that they would stop paying me working tax credits and child tax credits. I thought I would go back to benefits until I got another job but My employer ( who was giving me 600 p/m) never gave me any pay slips or even p60 That you are meant to get after yo stop working or p 45 or any document. So I was stuck with not applying for benefits and not telling hmrc about stopping work. Now Last month I called HMRC and told them that I have just stopped working ( koz I was done with being scared that they would find out, But now I'm scared that they will still find out . They said ok and the changes will take place in 28 days. Now I'm sooooooo scared that they will find out That i havent worked since 10 months. There must be a system for them to find out right?? Though there was no paper work but my employer took my N.I number before I started working so I believe Im going to be in trouble soon. I also sent HMRC my tax form stating I was working the same. Please don't judge me and just tell me what should I do. I havent heard anythin from HMRC since I told them that I've stopped working. Nothing about an investigation or anything bad.
What should I do now? Will they definitely find out that I wasn't working? Or should I just stay quiet and let the matter die as they know I'm not working anymore. Or should I just confess and may be they will b lenient that way
Please give me honest advice. Thank you so much

You'll probably get found out and have to pay back the money that you fraudulently claimed. You should have gone to the job centre when you stopped working and explained about the payslips/P60 situation. If you didn't get payslips, how do you know your employer paid your NI?

It's all a mess, and you should probably go and get advice from the CAB or somewhere.

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 13:29:35

If he didn't pay tax then why did he ask for my NI number and made me fill in the form? I know I've been stupid and I will slowly pay the money back if they ask for it. But I dont know should I wait for them to find out or should i just write to them sad

WeAreEternal Thu 16-May-13 13:33:47

When you quit 10 months ago did you start claiming benefits again?
Or did you just live on the working tax credits and the child tax credits as your only income?

noisytoys Thu 16-May-13 13:37:33

You will probably be found out and it will catch up with you. I don't earn enough to pay tax or national insurance but my employer still has my NI number and it is all still on my payslips. It's best to be honest now because it will look worse if you leave it

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 13:38:26

when I stopped working I didn't claim any benefits. Mainly because I couldn't. I didnt have any pay slips or anything to prove that I had stopped working or that I was working in the first place. I'm so stressed out though I haven't even been caught yet sad

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 13:39:56

I was never given any pay slips or any documentation even after I stopped working. That's making me think should I just let it go because I've stopped getting working tax credit anyway now? Thoughts guys???

WeAreEternal Thu 16-May-13 13:45:58

You will probably be found out, they are pretty good at working these things out, so be prepared for it.

However, if your employer never registered you as an employee, which he should have done, then it will be difficult for them to establish when you ended your employment.

My advice would be to contact your previous employer, pretend you have received a query from hmrc about your ni and employment or something similar, and ask if he has a record of your employment and your p45 etc so that you can't send it to them.

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 14:02:00

I have tried calling the salon where I used to work but as usual they are too busy to call back. sad I can't stop shaking.

WeAreEternal Thu 16-May-13 17:25:46

Realistically you have two options.

1, call HMRC, tell them everything, and arrange to pay back the money that you fraudulently claimed.

2, Don't say anything and hope they don't find out, but be prepared for the fact that they probably will on day. You will probably worry about it constantly, and you should start putting money aside to prepare to pay back the money if they demand you pay it back.

Ultimately it's whether you can live with yourself and the worry or not.

Sh1ney Thu 16-May-13 17:35:05

Good god. Calm down! I don't foresee a lengthy prison sentence for you.

However - it's time to come clean. Make an appointment with your local job centre to discuss benefits. Tell them when you stopped working. Tell them when you last received working tax credit. They will assist you in going through all that you're entitled to now.

Then call the tax credits helpline. ' hello I stopped working in blah blah month and continued to receive benefits until blah blah month so I understand I will have been overpaid . Please can you tell me what I should do next? '

Honestly - just deal with this factually and all will be well.

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 17:53:45

I'm too scared to come clean just now. But I'm preparing myself for the worst. And if they ask for the money I will pay back monthly what I can But I think I should just wait for them to find out i guess sad

Theselittlelightsofmine Thu 16-May-13 18:14:51

By not telling anyone you had stopped working, did you not end up with less money?

Or am I reading it wrong?

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 18:23:47

I did end up with less money but My problems were bigger at the point. Going through divorce and family pressure. But I did get child support so I barely managed.

LIZS Thu 16-May-13 18:23:54

Presumably it is the tax credits and ctc op is worried about having to repay and the amount received would have outstripped JSA or IS had she claimed it . I suspect you would have been below the tax allowance so paid none but NI should have been deducted (lower earnings limit was £107pw last year). You could request a P60 now (after all the tax year has recently ended) but not sure which tax form you have returned to HMRC and lied on confused

Relaxedandhappyperson Thu 16-May-13 18:30:59

Were you being paid below minimum wage? Really low pay and no payslips makes it look like HMRC might be interested in your employer!

Get some advice from CAB or someone and don't worry. It is time to get it sorted though. Be brave and you will feel better and can pay back any overpayment (if there is one).

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 18:49:28

LIZS : I dont know anything about the form, HMRC sent me the form and I just filled it in October last year I think like I was working and mailed it. And they kept paying me WTC and CTC sad
I'm not sure about minimum wage but because it was a junior in salon role and learn while you work ( not apprenticeship though) so It was 150£ per week for 42 hours a week. I don't think I was earning enough to pay any tax. I am hoping they won't find out sad

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 18:51:38

Thnx a lot Relaxedandhappyperson

I think it's legal to pay that low if you are learning while working but I'm not too sure. But do you know how does HMRC finds out if somebody wasnt working while they claimed that they were working sad

LIZS Thu 16-May-13 18:57:33

You/employer won't have paid NI which could affect your ability to claim JSA in future.

Relaxedandhappyperson Thu 16-May-13 19:03:00

Sh1ney has the best advice.

Have some brew now and start tackling it tomorrow.

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 19:39:43

hmmmmmm

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 19:40:06

I will keeep you guys updated

RedHelenB Thu 16-May-13 20:26:16

It will be the WTC not the child tax credit that you weren't entitled to & any child care costs. You will be due a renewal form very soon which will want details of how much you earned from April 2012 - 2013. this is where it could throw up a query.

I would personally ring up & come clean & at least then you know where you stand.

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 20:56:36

Red helen B

Ohhhhhhh so the form I filled and posted in October was for April 2011- April 2012? It means I didnt lie in that form because I was indeed working in that period. Ohhhhhhhhhhh

LIZS Thu 16-May-13 20:57:51

Did you keep a copy of it ?

susanawan Thu 16-May-13 21:08:16

noooo... Are we meant to keep a copy of tax return forms? :O

Relaxedandhappyperson Thu 16-May-13 21:11:02

Well, it's sensible. So you know what you told them.

Sh1ney Fri 17-May-13 06:52:04

People take time out to give you decent advice and the only person you thank is the one who suggests that your employer may be at fault

I didn't judge you in the first instance but now I do. Just do what you need to do instead of searching for loopholes now. You can't vs that frightened or you'd do the simplest thing - as I suggested up thread

RedHelenB Fri 17-May-13 07:14:23

But you have lied because you are supposed to notify them after you stop working. You won't carry on getting tax credits unless you renew. Tax credits are nothing to do with your employer btw.

LIZS Fri 17-May-13 07:17:28

Was it a tax return or was it a tax credit renewal, you're still not being clear. Yes you should keep all financial statements and tax correspondence for several years. It is your responsibility to keep HMRC up to date not your employers , were you on PAYE ? If you had other sources of income some of those may be taxable.

iloveweetos Fri 17-May-13 07:20:00

Just come clean. Be worse for you if you wait for them to find out.

500internalerror Fri 17-May-13 07:22:37

This is slightly aside, but even if an employer has an NI number, it means no guarantees. When I was made redundant on ML, I had a tears worth if payslips stating tax and NI deducted, but my employer hadnt paid any of it at all. He just kept it.

500internalerror Fri 17-May-13 07:23:16

*YEARS

mirai Fri 17-May-13 07:26:19

Instead of trying to use us to assuage your conscience and try to find a way to wriggle out of it why don't you just call HMRC, tell them your situation and get it sorted? hmm

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 08:41:31

I didn't mean to offend anybody and I'm sorry about it all. It's not my employers fault. Its only my fault I know that very well. But we all make mistakes don't we sad Trust me circumstances made me do this as last resort. When I started working I was getting benefits before that. It was income support and there was no hurry as people say to work. But I wanted to do it because I wanted to get out of benefit system. Anyways an ugly divorce and lots of drama in my life made it impossible to do the right thing at that point in time. Now I'm ready to face the consequences and that's why I called them and told them that I stopped working. Now of course they are going to find out but I don have the guts to tell them just now so I said I'm going to wait and let them contact me. Hope it clears my situation atleast infront of you guys.
Lizs: It was a tax return form that we have to fill near the year end. Let's just see what happens and Thank you

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 08:43:03

and thank you every one for taking out your time to reply. I really appreciate it and I'm reading every comment and it's really helping. Thanx

iloveweetos Fri 17-May-13 08:57:10

No idea why you wouldn't tell them. They will come down harder on you if you wait for them to contact you. No point.
You say you're not proud of it, but you're not doing anything about it.

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 09:47:17

So you guys Think I should tell them? I can't call them I'm too scared. Should I write a confession letter?

BlueSkiesAndNoClouds Fri 17-May-13 09:54:02

Please don't beat yourself up about it. You won't be the first to do this and you're trying to make amends now. I would get in touch with them. No need to 'confess', just be calm and factual. And I'm not judging you. Sometimes, we make decisions that feel very right for our circumstances at the time.

If you don't feel ready to contact HMRC just now, then I would second what others have said and speak to Citizens Advice. They can be really helpful.

childcarehell Fri 17-May-13 09:54:17

Take the stance of going for an appointment at the job centre, you'll need a bit of help sorting it all out

iloveweetos Fri 17-May-13 11:04:32

contact CAB like people have said and go from there. Be honest
Hope it all works out.

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 12:24:41

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate it. I am building up courage to go to CAB. But from what I've read on different blogs, they aren't of much help either.
So may be not a confession letter but an explanation letter. Or should I just wait. I know most of you are saying that I should contact them myself and I'm not trying to conceal anything ANYmore but I just want to wait and see what happens. I am not getting any WTc anymore anyway. So it's just last year. I am hoping that they just write me one day and ask for the last years WTc back and I can arrange payments. So I can move in with my partner and start Afresh. I don't want this new guy to run away as well because of my stupidity.

RedHelenB Fri 17-May-13 13:15:59

When did you last receive working tax credits?

It WILL be spotted so waiting isn't really an option.

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 13:16:54

my last WTC was about three weeks ago

RedHelenB Fri 17-May-13 13:25:05

You will be sent a renewal form anytime soon which asks you to confirm from April 2012 - April 2013 you were working 30 hours a week & what your earnings were.

So, are you going to lie on that form? If you don't send it back they stop your credits & may well want it ALL paid back not just the working part.

You have no option but to ring up & clear things up. CAB won't do this for you BTW as they are much too busy. At best they will reiterate what has been posted on here.

iloveweetos Fri 17-May-13 13:27:36

Just ring them up and sort it out now or keep watching the post until they chase you for it.

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 14:21:51

Ok Guys What I'm going to do is wait for the renewal forms to come in the post and Tell the truth in the form that I wasn't working and with it write a covering letter explaining my situation Instead of calling them (sorry too chicken to callsad ... ) . Please tell me what do you think?

susanawan Fri 17-May-13 14:22:42

P.S thank you everybody

RedHelenB Fri 17-May-13 14:48:13

I still would ring them & then you know where you are straight away. But it's your decision.

The CAB could ring on your behalf, but you would need to be sitting there to answer security questions. HMRC won't give much of a toss and will not say anything bad, they'll just recalculate and tell you what rate of repayment they want and then agree or disagree and that'll be it.

LIZS Fri 17-May-13 16:01:46

If it was a Tax Return , completed last October, then it would have been for income April 2011- April 2012. That is entirely separate from Tax Credits renewal or claim. You need to call whoever you spoke to last month confused and say you made a mistake and give them the real date your employment finished. Mistakes can be checked back years, producing bills out of the blue, and if they uncover one irregularity - yours or your employers' - later on they may well look even further back in case of others. Better to face up now, it may well not be as bad as you fear .

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