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help! Confused : letter fromTax Credits "Specialist Compliance Team"??

(39 Posts)
BEAUTlFUL Wed 15-Dec-10 13:41:43

I've just received a letter from the Tax Credit office's "specialist compliance team" which looks pretty standard, except that it is going on about how "you are claiming as a single person but lots of people don't tell us about their partner".

It says they check 1000s of claims every year and I sgould call them to make sure my claim is right before they start checking?

I claim Tax Credits as a single Mum. My ex lives in a different house down the street, we are divorcing in April 2011 (after 2 years' separation). He gives me £300/month maintenance towards the kids. We have drawn up a Separation Agreement legally, we are not getting back together.

I tied to call but they're busy every time - is this a standard letter or do they think for some reason I'm living with my ex and claiming illegally?

BEAUTlFUL Wed 15-Dec-10 13:59:13

Actually, forget this - i rang again and got through and it was fine. i;d been flagged up because a man who lived here YEARS ago was still on some list they had, I think it was the man we bought the house from.

ThisIsANiceCage Wed 15-Dec-10 14:10:01

Hi, don't know anything about Tax Credits but didn't want this going unanswered.

In my experience with incapacity-related benefits they send out boilerplate threats about absolutely everything. They're part of the standard letter.

Every form has a threat of prosecution on it, a simple appointment letter (not after a missed appointment or anything) contains details of the punishments they will mete out if you cannot make the appointment. Usually with a phone number that you cannot ever get through to even if you ring for days.

Deeply intimidating for the honest; water off a duck's back for the dishonest. confused

ThisIsANiceCage Wed 15-Dec-10 14:10:57

x-post - glad all well!

BEAUTlFUL Wed 15-Dec-10 14:56:52

Thanks!!!

onks Fri 04-Feb-11 13:10:10

Got the same letter 'Are you single is it right?'Just got off the phone they asked all questions about my ex,does he stay in the house,has he any links to your address,which he has, his name on the mortgage and council tax,which I get single persons benefit and they wont take his name off because he owns the house,he pays the mortgage,so I dont get any money off him for the 2 kids we have together I could`t give them an address for him because he has`nt got one,he works away and stays in different friends at weekend.The women dealing with me has said because he has strong links to the house and he doesn`t have an address I will have to make a joint claim or they will investigate further.I could have a large overpayment.Been in touch with the ex he doesn`t want to make a joint claim because were not together,which I dont blame him I dont either!Looks like I will have to move out or loose my money!sad

prh47bridge Fri 04-Feb-11 16:11:05

"Investigate further" doesn't necessarily mean you will lose the money or have to pay anything back. It just means they will need to check out your claim more carefully to make sure you aren't claiming anything you shouldn't.

Resolution Fri 04-Feb-11 16:58:44

onks

Put your claim in. Don't be put off. As prh says, you'll withstand scrutiny, so you've nothing to worry about.

onks Sun 06-Feb-11 09:30:48

Thanks will let you know the outcome.

onimolap Sun 06-Feb-11 09:34:49

Yes, they do lots of these and for every type of benefit. It's happened to me, it really is routine.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 06-Feb-11 09:43:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

onks Tue 08-Feb-11 10:46:58

Has anyone had a letter after they have made the call for more info?

kez38 Fri 11-Feb-11 11:01:45

i got a letter from the special compliance team yesterday about single parent claim is it rite.....

After spending a very anxious day trying to phone them and a sleepness nite worrying i got through to them this morning and spoke with a very nice older gentleman who explained that there are 12,500 of these letters going out and only 50 people to answer their calls and he agreed that the letters are somewhat aggressive to which they had no input into it. I was asked questions about my children, ages, where they lived, then their fathers, where they in touch with the children what contact they had, my work, who i worked for and the hours i worked and then did i have a current boyfriend, which i dont, after this he explained thats all he needed to know and would forward on that nothing in my original claim had changed, i did complain about the nature of the letter and he said if u where unfortunate to phone and speak with one of their younger staff they can also be a bit more aggressive to their approach on their questions as the older generation answering the phones know how relationships work.....I was more worried about an aggrieved ex being malicious (which he has done with social services about my kids) i would put nothing past him about any boyfriend i mite have..

hope this helps everyone and best bet to do is to phone, now i will just wait on what happens next...hopefully nothing

kez38 Sun 13-Feb-11 18:37:50

Did u have anything else come back from tax credits.... Any interviews, or were they happy with your answers.... Im just trying to figure out now are the special compliance team actually trying to get you to sink yourself with the phone call then they pull you in with evidence.. I and my 2 sisters are all single parents and we have had boyfriends but none of whom have lived with us, and im the only one who has had one of these letters, im worried cause of the way they define COUPLE, as in any relationship everyone see you as a couple until it ends. just getting confused, even though ive spoken to them...

TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 13-Feb-11 18:47:17

I had one of these ad wasn't impressed as it isn't the first time I have had similar letters, but from DWP.

Anyway, I rang and answered all of their questions, and she seemed happy with what I said and I have had no further contact from them.

lozzamumoftwins Sun 13-Feb-11 18:48:57

Hi i got the same letter saturday. Worded slightly differently saying im claiming as a single person but our records show you are living as a couple and if I do not reply to them by 23rd february then they will change my status as a couple.

very strange since it came at the same time I am due to move in with my boyfriend at the end of the month but i cant change my status or anything until i do actually move (thats what tax office told me). At the moment im living in my own place, he has his until we actually move. I pay my own bills etc so whats their problem!

At first I thought it could be my ex sticking his nose in since he didnt want me moving further away (not far only by 5 extra miles). but then it could be the landlord has just put his house on the market but then why on earth dont they check their records as they have a copy of my tenancy agreement, bank statements etc and every little change i.e. when my child care costs went down and when i changed jobs, i rang them straight away and told them.

this is very annoying as i am heavily pregnant, moving, working at looking after 3 year old twins. Not something i need to be worrying about at the moment!

kez38 Sun 13-Feb-11 20:13:17

Im taking that these letters are generic, a way of scaring people into admitting they are living together.... Or does anyone know if this is a build up to making a case against you.... Is this the new way they are doing their tax reviews, maybe a more aggressive approach????? Let us know if you have had any outcome or been required to give them anymore information....Surely if they suppected you of fraud they would automatically stop your claim???? ive no idea how this works...Are these letters sent to random people or have you actually been reported then the letter is sent....These are answers i think everyone needs to know who has been sent these letters, cause im sure that the people who worded them and sent them do not care one bit about the people and maybe illness and the effects that receiveing such letters would have on some people

lozzamumoftwins Sun 13-Feb-11 20:23:40

I think they are generic letters. from the research ive done it appears that if someone else flags up at the address you are registered at i.e a landlord they send these letters out but the wording is awful. Making out im fidling the system when im not. I work hard, pay my taxes only claim what im entitled to and nothing more. they have all the information they need they know who my landlord is, know how much i earn, how much maintenance i get but i will have to wait and see tomorrow what happens.

lozzamumoftwins Mon 14-Feb-11 18:39:26

called them today. apparently its a massive excersise they are doing by running credit checks on the house to see who has applied for loans etc. My ex had apparently had a quote of some sort sent to the house last year but i confirmed he hasnt lived in the property for 2 years so they were fine. very pleasent nothing to worry about.

kez38 Mon 14-Feb-11 21:19:52

ahhhhh, they never mentioned that to me... although they did ask where my ex lived, we had split up june 2009, and i only found out through the week that he had applied for and got credit for a new car to our address (we are both named on the mortgage still), but guy on phone never mentioned credit checks to the house, although i know this is how they are working now...... Probably anwsers a lot of questions

loup79 Wed 16-Feb-11 18:20:51

I spent 4 days trying to get through and finally did today to be told the 30 to 40 times I had tried to get through I would be charged for it.

Anyway got asked a couple of questions regarding my children, there father and where I work and that was that. He said that everything was correct and as far as he was concerned that that was the end of that. I told him I did not think there letter was very nice and he explained that 190,000 letters had gone out and were not personal to anyone just an automated letter.

Feel alot better now as I hadn't slept properly for a couple of nights worrying my money would stop. He actually said to me hopefully you will sleep better tonight now.

All was friendly and nothing to worry about.

nellyboot Thu 17-Feb-11 22:14:22

I have received one of these horrible letters this morning and have spent an anxious day waiting for my toddler to go to bed so i could get my lap top out!

It would seem that these letters are standard and have been sent out to lots and lots of people - the wording is nasty and seems designed to frighten.

I am one of the many people who have less than straight forward circumstances and I would be grateful for any advice that people can give.

I claim tax credits as a single person and live in a rented house in my name with my two young children. The father of my children was released from prison approximately 15 months ago and has been very unsettled since then, staying with various friends. We maintain a reasonable friendship for the sake of the children but are certainly not a couple (however tax credits wish to define 'couple'!). Months back, he used my address in order to secure and maintain a reasonable job through an agency before getting a peramnent contract. I stupidly agreed to it without thinking through the implications...I'm now scared of making that phone call!

I would love to know what people think...

loup79 Fri 18-Feb-11 12:48:33

really wouldn't worry about it, it really is just a standard phone call. 190,000 letters have gone out and it can be as simple as you have Mrs on the letter even though you are a miss.

Please do not worry yourself I worried and did not sleep for days and all for nothing.

Please please do not worry.

nellyboot Fri 18-Feb-11 22:54:29

You're right...it's just the letter making me (and everyone else) feel like a master of fraud!
I will pluck up the courage to ring next week and post outcome for any one who is interested!

clairly Mon 21-Feb-11 13:42:39

Anyone heard anything more after this call? i ranf them on friday

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