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To think that HMRC should not be so surprised by the idea of a SAHD

(23 Posts)
Amummyatlast Thu 26-Nov-15 15:59:57

Ffs. Ok, so I wanted to transfer my child benefit claim to DH so that he can get the pension credits. I know you can transfer them later, but he has been the SAHP for ages, and will continue to be for the forseeable future, and I wanted to just get the paperwork sorted.

I tried emailing them and got a generic email back that didn't answer my question.

I just called them. They seemed incredulous that I wanted to stop claiming child benefit so that my DH could claim, especially since we still live together. It took ages to sort out. Is it really that unusual?

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 26-Nov-15 16:01:49

No, I just think that HMRC are particularly shit having had very recent experience of their 'customer service'

Amummyatlast Thu 26-Nov-15 16:21:15

I think what got me most was the number of times he asked me if I really wanted to do this, and he kept repeating what the consequences were (that I would not get the child benefit). Yes, I know! Does being female mean I'm incapable of making these sorts of decisions?

I know what you mean about terrible customer service. It's partly why I've put it off so long. I remember HRMC once set me a letter re student loans that had some else's NI number on it. When I called them, they denied all knowledge and treated me like I was stupid, saying it had to be from SLC, when it was on their letter headed paper and the number I was calling them on was on the damn letter can you tell I'm still bitter about it.

bittapitta Thu 26-Nov-15 16:24:27

the number of times he asked me if I really wanted to do this, - being charitable, maybe he was checking you weren't being financially abused?

But otherwise I agree their customer service approach isn't great - hope you got it sorted.

LaLyra Thu 26-Nov-15 16:26:38

By the "Do you really want to do this?" I reckon you probably encountered someone with recent (crap) training about making sure they at least try and spot a situation where someone is being forced/coerced into changing the Child Ben over. A SAHM in a DV situation would be put in a very vulnerable situation if it was changed over.

Sadly like their training for everything else it doesn't actually equip their staff to do anything except annoy people.

TheSecondViola Thu 26-Nov-15 16:27:05

I doubt that have trouble understanding the concept of the SAHD, its not a new concept for anyone.
It's just that child benefit is almost exclusively paid to women irrespective of who works. It was designed in the first place to be a benefit specifically for women.

Enjolrass Thu 26-Nov-15 16:28:07

being charitable, maybe he was checking you weren't being financially abused?

this was my thought.

When I was pg with dd, I kept having bleeds and had to go into hospital. The mw always asked weird questions and used to try and find ways to send dh out of the room and ask more questions.

Dad worked for the NHS when I told him he said they were trying to work out if I was being abused. At the time (12/13 years ago) they were having a big drive on identifying people at risk of domestic violence during pregnancy.

Could it be the hmrc are doing similar?

Enjolrass Thu 26-Nov-15 16:29:15

Sadly like their training for everything else it doesn't actually equip their staff to do anything except annoy people.

This ^^

Amummyatlast Thu 26-Nov-15 16:31:30

Yes, I did think that after the first couple of times. But it got a bit wearing after a while...I had clearly explained my reasons a number of times and my telephone manner is fairly robust.

I did get the feeling he had a script and I had thrown him somewhat by not conforming to that script. I don't particularly blame him, I'm just frustrated at how long it took to do something that was actually very simple in the end.

howabout Thu 26-Nov-15 16:31:41

Now try getting him to transfer the allowed part of his personal allowance to you. Loads of emails and on-line registration to complete for the princely sum of about £200.

YBR Thu 26-Nov-15 16:35:28

in my house Child Ben. is paid to DH, the SAHD, always has been and there's been no problems. I just filled in the forms in DH's name and got him to sign them. It's probably the change that has tripped them up.

talkinnpeace Thu 26-Nov-15 16:37:50

I tend to get the relevant page of the HMRC manual up on my screen before I call them so I can read the next sentence to them if they start trying to fob me off with it grin

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 26-Nov-15 17:25:42

I am not confident of getting my tax rebate any time soon after they took too much on my redundancy payment!

Crocodileclip Thu 26-Nov-15 17:38:06

I think who the child benefit is paid to is part of how they decide who is considered the main carer for some other benefits and may be relevant in some custody type arguments so they probably need to be certain that's what you want to do.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 26-Nov-15 17:47:06

Well when I called the woman was perfectly pleasant, said she'd send me the forms (she did) and also told me where to find them online.

Still haven't completed them though blush

Andrewofgg Thu 26-Nov-15 18:30:23

If the OP was being abused what could HMRC do about it if she kept on saying Yes?

Enjolrass Thu 26-Nov-15 19:35:32

If the OP was* being abused what could HMRC do about it if she kept on saying Yes?*

Nothing, that's why it's annoying. You can keep saying 'yes I am sure'.

Then they have covered themselves.

As pp said child benefit can be an indicator as to who the main carer is in the event of a split.

It's about covering their arse if a woman says she was forced into. They did what they could to. It's pointless really

Cardbordeaux Thu 26-Nov-15 20:13:53

It's not to do with abuse for why he kept asking. The call process has various statements in it called asks and tells. They're bolded on the screen and will say things like ask the caller if they are sure blah blah blah then a but further on the process will say something like tell the customer that if they make this change ge the implications are that yada yada yada.

I'm not sure how coaching is done now but it used to be that you'd get marked down for not asking the asks and for not telling the tells. Coaching makes up part of your annual performance review and if you get marked down in your performance review you can be put on a warning and/or sacked.

The guy was just doing his job, annoying as he seemed.

Andrewofgg Fri 27-Nov-15 07:45:50

Yes, but if there are extra asks when it's a woman giving up CB to a man - more than there would be if it was a more usual transaction - that's probably out of concern for abuse. Which leads to the question how far HMRC should pursue the matter when it is annoying the caller who is not being abused. Frankly, I don't know and don't pretend to.

splendide Fri 27-Nov-15 08:17:11

I doubt its anything to do with abuse or you'd get questions when registering it in the dad's name (as we did a year ago). I suspect you'd get the same checks swapping it from dad to mum as well.

Enjolrass Fri 27-Nov-15 08:38:11

We know the ask because they have to.

The question is why do they have to?

An adult is calling to make a perfectly reasonable request. No need to ask over and over. There is a reason the staff are made to ask several times.

splendide Fri 27-Nov-15 09:18:03

The reason is probably that the change has quite significant effects on other things such as benefits and pensions. I doubt (although I'm not certain I suppose) that they ask more times when swapping from a woman claiming to a man than vice versa.

I'm just basing that on my experience of making a new claim with a man as the beneficiary - nobody cared at all.

Cardbordeaux Fri 27-Nov-15 13:59:44

Splendide is right. It's basically disclaimers to make sure the person knows the full implications of their decision. It's nothing to do with the sex of the person calling and a man would be asked just as many times as a women - it's one call type process no matter whether it's the mother phoning or the father.

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