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Being paid a wage but not working while on Maternity allowance

(24 Posts)
leftfoot76 Mon 02-Oct-17 17:04:05

Bear with me as this is hard to explain. I worked very few hours self employed as a massage therapist. I didn't earn enough to have to pay national insurance but I paid anyway in order to get maternity allowance. All straight forward. I was on Maternity allowance from August 2016 to May 2017.
My husband has a business and has me (for tax purposes) down as director/secretary of the company although I have never lifted a finger! I, being very naive hadn't realised he had me down as earning £680 a month (for tax purposes all legit), from November 2016 🙈. Although I have have been down as being paid this by his company I have never physically received a wage or worked for one. I am now worried this will mean I have to pay back most of my maternity allowance as I understand I am not allowed to earn money while on it? I am going to be doing my tax return and stressing over it. Could really do without it right now, it's been a really stressful year. Can anyone help That understands this better than me?

cheesypastatonight Mon 02-Oct-17 17:09:37

How can it be legit if you are getting paid for not lifting a finger? Tax avoidance ?

existentialmoment Mon 02-Oct-17 17:11:46

* I, being very naive hadn't realised he had me down as earning £680 a month (for tax purposes all legit), from November 2016*

You're still being naive, because that isn't at all legit. Putting your wife on the books for a fake job she doesn't do is called tax fraud. And now you have also probably committed fraud on your maternity allowance.

Hoppinggreen Tue 03-Oct-17 10:33:29

He can "have you down for tax purposes "
If you get a wage but don't work for him it's tax evasion so yes you could well get into trouble and so could your DH

Hoppinggreen Tue 03-Oct-17 10:33:52

I mean HE CANT another he can

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 11:17:34

I think you will find (I know this person), the company is a public limited company and she is down as a company director/secretary (anyone can do this) and the company can pay a wage as long as it falls under the taxable bracket (which it does), the money was paid into an account to pay for bills etc so Yes, she has contacted maternity allowance to explain the mistake and no, she hasn't committed a fraud it was an oversight and hadn't realised it was classed as a wage. The company is perfectly legit. She didn't want to come back on here because she came on here for help and didn't find answer only people scaremongering.

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 11:24:31

And also to mention, she also helps do the books and other things to help her husband and although it isn't a job she classes as one it is completely acceptable as long as she is deemed a partner in the company a d working within it....

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 11:26:00

She is doing a minimum amount of work for the company by helping with the books and sorting paperwork etc. She didn't realise this was even worth mentioning but just so it's clear!

Nobrain Tue 03-Oct-17 11:37:06


Hoppinggreen Tue 03-Oct-17 12:30:53

Gosh, good job you came along to explain it all properly holistic
Not sure " not lifting a finger" is exactly the same as doing a minimum amount of work though

FrostyPopThePenguinLord Tue 03-Oct-17 12:45:06

Surely he can bloody well pay your MA back if it comes to that. I know ignorance isn't accepted as an excuse but if you didn't know you were getting a 'wage' then I think it's pretty crap of him not to help you out given that the business has benefited from his....creative accountancy....

existentialmoment Tue 03-Oct-17 14:47:44

Sure, sure. She said she never did a thing for the company and didn't recieve any payment of any kind, but what actually happened is she does in fact work for the company and is well aware of being paid.

It's not going to sound any more believable when you get done for tax evasion, so your practice here is not working hmm

CatastropheKate Tue 03-Oct-17 14:53:31

She can't be 'down as a company secretary/director' - she has to BE a secretary and/or director. Paid or otherwise, she must be aware of the papers she signs and as secretary has responsibilities of agm's and minutes etc.

This all seems very odd.

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 15:27:55

She was entitled too. Her mistake was she hasn't realised she had to include this too. It was a mistake around the application process. She would have not been entitled to pay through the company anyway so would still have been able to receive maternity allowance. She has contacted ma advisors and HMRC for advice but thanks for all your input. She is no longer on the forum

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 15:37:03

The issue is the maternity allowance and incorrect application! There is no tax evasion going on so get your facts straight. She will no doubt have to pay back maternity allowance and maybe incur a penalty. She applied for maternity allowance based on herself emloyment, a mistake!

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 15:39:47

I'm not Sure you understand how a plc company works, think you need to do research...

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Tue 03-Oct-17 15:40:54

It’s not legit; and it doesn’t matter a jot that you “didn’t lift a finger to earn it!” Why would they take that into account??

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Tue 03-Oct-17 15:42:54

Who are you, Holistic, and why are you continuing to speak for someone “no longer on the forum”?

Pythonesque Tue 03-Oct-17 15:46:39

I'm curious as to whether this actually needs to be a problem. Don't know any of the relevant legal stuff, but ...

When I had my first child I got MA to top up occupational maternity pay as I had changed jobs during my pregancy and thus had to claim MA in the place of SMP. (NHS - maternity pay generally given on overall service not single employer) So in a sense might it be valid to say you weren't working but had maternity pay from the company "job"? Agree you need proper advice as to the ins and outs of it all, but don't forget to consider what you might have been entitled to had you realised the full picture properly.

Holistic22 Tue 03-Oct-17 15:58:36

She is a friend. And at last a kind considered response so thank you Pythonesque. The two things are getting blurred. I think you are correct, she is entitled to Maternity allowance but unfortunately because of a mistake with the form she will now have to pay it back. She is not evading any tax so stop harping on about it. Please get your facts straight!

Hoppinggreen Tue 03-Oct-17 16:06:14

Pussy escaped from sack I think

Hoppinggreen Tue 03-Oct-17 16:12:00

The issue python isn't so much about the MA as I don't know the ins and out of that but as Director of 2 ltd companies ( where I both take a wage and actually work) and having worked for an Accountant is that OP can't both " never lift a finger" and " genuinely work" for a company where she is a Director/secretary.
Funnily enough this thread would probably not be half as interesting if OP's "friend " ( probably her DH crapping himself) hadn't appeared to try and convince everyone that There is no HMRC related issue here
I don't work for HMRC and neither ( as far as I'm aware) do any other the other people who replied but by making such a huge and aggressive fuss OPs "friend" he/she is suggesting there IS an issue
As Shakespeare wrote " methinks the lady doth protest too much"

existentialmoment Tue 03-Oct-17 16:21:13

Holistic you are talking complete shite. The OP told a totally different tale to the one you invented afterwards.

Now we all know that you are the OP, and you are lying because you know how badly in the wrong you are

HopelesslyHopeful87 Fri 06-Oct-17 14:41:03

Having just applied for MA there is a section where you say whether or not you are named on anyone else's business so I don't see how this was an 'oversight'. The info had to have been purposely omitted. hmm

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