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CSA - taking on self employed/own company non-resident parent

(77 Posts)
timefliesby Mon 17-Jun-13 23:23:30


Hello all,
I broke up with my ex-partner a year ago. During that time, I have been trying to get proper maintenance payments for my children aged 2 and 4. This is proving to be a difficult task. I was never married but co-habited with my ex. He has his own company and draws a salary. He states that his income is lower than it actually is.

I believe that the CSA is not equipped to deal with higher income families, especially where the non resident parent has his/her own business or is self-employed. In my case, we also lost our home and most of our belongings (my ex stayed in the family home). There appears to be no allowance for replacing these things.

I disagree with maintenance being set as a standard 20% of the non resident parent's salary which decreases the more often the children stay over at the non-resident parent's house. The resident parent by default ends up forking out for uniform, clothes, classes, school trips, etc. It is easy for the non-resident parent to avoid sharing costs on these. So therefore taking a further percentage off what is already a low contribution (20%) is fundamentally flawed. Surely, it should be based on what the children actually cost? And then the higher earning parent should pay a higher percentage of these costs? That would be fairer don't you agree?

Why aren't individual circumstances taken into account?
My children are very young and I was the one who sacrificed career to bring them up taking a significant pay cut. My ex was the main bread winner. Why is this not taken into account? My ex earned 90% of the family income to support our children whilst I stayed home to look after them. Why, therefore, when he chooses no longer to be with us, should I suddenly have to pay the vast majority of their costs when I am not set up to do this? In the past year, I have returned to work part time but child care fees are paid for solely by me, with no input from my ex. Why does the CSA not insist that these costs are shared at the very least equally?

As it is, the children and I can not afford our own home and live with my mother, whilst my ex enjoys a wealthy lifestyle. The CSA are implicit in spreading child poverty whilst they cannot bring self-employed/higher income non resident parents to task.

PLEASE JOIN THIS THREAD. I will not accept the above and I intend to take our plight further. The rules governing child maintenance can and must be changed.

In numbers, we can do this. Even if you don't want to share your story, please just add that you are in by adding "I'm in" to this thread. I will then keep you updated and ask for support where necessary. First stop is my local MP.

Many thanks,

keli5325 Mon 17-Jun-13 23:37:43

i totally agree and this will be a great thread! my ex is also self employed and csa go off his last tax return which obviously shows little profit so he is supposed to pay £25 a week for 2 children while he takes 2\3 holidays a year and enjoys a more than comfortable lifestyle while i struggle to put food on the table!!

ladylambkin Mon 17-Jun-13 23:46:45

If you believe your ex partner is diverting income, you can apply for a variation. Please be aware though that you will need to provide proof that their lifestyle is inconsistent with their salary. You can also contact the Inland Revenue if you suspect tax evasion.

If you know he draws dividends and can provide proof (income previous to split) then you can also apply for a variation on this earned income. There may be a good chance he is only being assessed on his salary which many Director Non Resident Parents keep below £200 per week.

timefliesby Tue 18-Jun-13 22:59:15

Thanks ladylambkin I have applied for a variation which I only knew existed by seeing a thread on mumsnet. The information seems formidably hard to come by!

Hi keli5235, thanks for the support. I get £19 per week for two children. Ridiculous isn't it? I'll let you know how I get on with my latest attempts as there maybe something you can do too.

timefliesby Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:08

Keli5235 there is some information about applying for a variation here that may be useful to you

timefliesby Tue 18-Jun-13 23:18:31

This is actually also VERY interesting! It's meant as legal advice for the non resident parent but it is interesting for the parent with care to see a description of what the CSA can take into account.

crazymama1 Thu 20-Jun-13 14:10:57

Im in!

I am a single parent, I work full time to support myself and my child, I have never claimed CS from the Non-resident parent as I know for a fact he will say he is not earning anything, just living of benefits. Then even if he did pay the minimum ammount he will tell people I cannot look after my child! plus I am not sure if he can claim access to my child if he pays CS (i know this may sound silly to most people! but I am bengali and in our culture this is sort of an big deal!)

He works in a indian resturant has done so for 10 years, he is paid cash in hand, and now that the divorce is final, he plans on opening up his own resturant, but to avoid me ever making a claim, he is going to hide it by putting his sisters name on the paperwork as the owner!

I also know he is claiming every benefit he can, whilst getting paid in execess of 400 per week!

This probably has nothing to do with your thread, but just wanted to say i'm in and I really hope you get somewhere with it!

Can someone clarify for me, if he did pay CS dose he automatically get to see my child? we split up when I was pregnant, she is 5 now and he has never made any legal effort to see her, but he has thetened to take her away from me via mutal freinds/family!

Also sorry for the spelling/grammer errors, I phone!

timefliesby Thu 20-Jun-13 20:27:22

Hi Crazymama1,
Welcome :-)
No, he does not get to see your child automatically if he pays maintenance.
Access and maintenance are two different things. Access is a legal process and maintenance is done through the CSA.
It doesn't appear that you have anything to lose by putting your claim in with the CSA, other than annoying him? Is he violent or agressive? Make sure you are safe if so. If you currently receive nothing, then I would ring the CSA tomorrow Telephone: 0845 713 6010. You will need your national insurance number and to tell them as much as you know about his whereabouts. Is he on the birth certificate? If he has a business you need to tell them the company name so they can look it up on Companies House. They will talk you through it. Even if you end up receiving the minimum (what you would get if he is on benefits) you can apply for a variation - see the link I posted above.
Do it tomorrow. The sooner you register with CSA, the sooner the payments start accruing. Good luck.

crazymama1 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:13:04

Hi, thank you! I will give them a call today and see what they say. I think I would do it just to annoy him. He was aggressive when we were together I suffered Mental and Physical abuse whilst we were together, I suffered financially as well, I would work full time, and he would wait for me on pay day so he can take it all, glad when I got out of that relationship. I have sanctuary on my house and a restraining order out against him, so feel safe and strong enough to deal with him now :-)

timefliesby Sun 23-Jun-13 23:32:49

How did you get on CrazyMama?

Glad2BeFree Tue 09-Jul-13 12:27:09

If your ex, the father of your children is on a tax avoidance scheme so he pays little to no maintenance in the UK, read on as to what you can do.

Firstly, although tax avoidance schemes are not illegal they have to be used in the way Parliament intended. A tax avoidance scheme is a loophole that these aggressive tax avoidance people use to pay nothing. They usually do this in a few ways, especially if they are Directors of their own company. Look them up on Company House, then firstly, reported to HMRC and AAG for tax avoidance. It's all anonymous. Parliament did not intend them to be able to use this tax loophole.

About child maintenance and how to get all of his income included in the assessment. A variation to the CSA won't change anything. You have to appeal the CSA decision so it goes to the appeals department in the CSA who have more power, and when you do you write this to them:

1. That you have failed to include as (INSERT FATHER'S NAME)income that part which he draws through a loan arrangement and probably via a remuneration trust.

It is my view that these payments either form part of the basic remuneration package and so should be taken into account within the underlying assessment or that they should be brought into account as a variation under regulation 19(4)(a)(ii).

2. That you have failed to take into account as assets in applying Regulation 18 any balance held in his remuneration trust, the value of his shares in his company and the balance on his loan account with his company.

3. That you have failed to take into account under Regulation 19(1A) the dividends received from his company.

4. That you have failed to properly apply Regulation 19(4) to the diversion to (INSERT FATHER'S NAMEE) company by his failure to draw an appropriate salary.

5. That you have failed to properly apply Regulation 20 by your acceptance without supporting evidence that (INSERT FATHER'S NAME) partner pays all their outgoings.

This letter covers all aspects of the aggressive tax avoidance scheme he's on. Also by getting him investigated by HMRC tax avoidance and AAG Aggressive Avoidance Group he may well find himself been investigated for the last 6 years of tax and have a hefty bill to pay to HMRC.

This income will all be used in his child maintenance assessment. If at this stage for some reason the CSA appeal can't do anything, they will send it to Tribunal. You will win the outcome.

I write from experience, didn't have go to Tribunal just CSA assessment and WON.

Good luck and fight for your children's money for their upbringing.

timefliesby Wed 10-Jul-13 10:36:45

Glad2bfree thank you so much for this information and taking the time to put it all down here. I am still wading through the variation stuff. I have just found another company where he has put the shares solely in his father's name. The above will be really handy, I am aware that it will probably go to tribunal but this information is invaluable in preparing for this. Thank you.

kittycat68 Mon 15-Jul-13 09:53:47

Let be honest CSA is a joke to the self employed NRP. The goverment need to step in and change the rules! The fact that the PWC has to prove the income of the NRP to get a variation is also a joke! HMRC are not much better, they are only interested in the big companies.

timefliesby Wed 17-Jul-13 13:47:40

Hi Kittycat68 I agree with you. It's very difficult to prove the income of the NRP. I know certain things... but it's been a long hard slog getting it all down on paper and proving certain things. I even posed as his PA at one point to confirm his private membership of a very expensive club. The PWC has a lot on her/his plate what with looking after the children and providing for them, not to mention any legal wrangles over custody...
However, I think I am finally getting somewhere. The last person I spoke to at the CSA, basically said that she has put in a contest letter but thinks she will have a hard time confirming he's hiding income and therefore said to me she thinks my case will end up in tribunal. I feel like it's moving forward and I am heartened by the fact they have only given him 7 days to respond to their contest letter. He's already passed a deadline to provide some accounts to them so he's starting to get into difficulties with them. Fingers crossed for a resolution!

kittycat68 Thu 18-Jul-13 09:10:52

unfortunately it can take a long time to get it to tribunal hearing! my first casr took four years! then the csa refused to implement the ruling! they refered it back to tribunal and three years on still waiting for another hearing date!!!!

Witsend333 Sun 22-Sep-13 09:51:57

Just been reading your post which is Very

Just curious as to whether you could
Assist or she'd a little light on my case

My twins are 16 and I have fought for maintenance
For all that time !!! I will not go into too much
Detail as case is very complex

Ex has money he closes companies down
Rips people off not paying wages bills
Owed and starts again ! I appealed a decision
From departures section of the Csa
For lifestyle inconsistent with earnings I
Won and assessed at £600 per month still
Low but grateful for any amount however I appealed
That decision as I knew my ex would
Put things in place to proove no income
So I started ball rolling with appeal as
I knew that's where I would end up - He is immoral
And corrupt however very clever avoiding
Any payments

As anticipated he has closed down his business
Chain of restaurants not paid staff - restaurant did
Make money - know he pocketed but can't
Proove - now he has open restaurant chainin
His wife's Chinese maiden name and
Launching next week .

He still lives in Very large house until
Recently had Aston Martin
Csa have this evidence
I am due to go to court in November
Do you have any advice all of his past companies
He winds up before accounts due to be filed

I have been to mp and fighting for 17 years
None stop wish I never started but came to
Far now
You seem to understand a lot about accounts
I would be grateful if you have a spare 5 minutes
To perhaps shed some light on further ways I
Could proove he hiding income

Many thanks

timefliesby Tue 01-Oct-13 13:56:36

Hi Witsend33,
I am afraid I am very disheartened today. I have provided the CSA with all four of my ex's company registration numbers. I have given information on his lifestyle being inconsistent with income claimed. The last time I spoke to them in August, they said that they had made an interim decision based on the average salary of someone in his trade whilst they delved further. They were waiting on his personal tax calculation information (not forthcoming from him) but that they would pursue payments based on the interim decision. I was told within two weeks if he had not paid up they would start chasing. So I failed to call on a weekly basis as I have been doing because I thought they were going through the process. Today when I rang to find out how they are getting on, I find that NOTHING has been done since August 14th. I am told something different which is that they can not chase the interim payment debt until a final decision has been made. They can't make a final decision until he provides his tax calculation information. So apparently I am at an impasse. But every time I call I am told something different so I don't know what is going on. I asked them how to take it forward and they said "find out who is accountant is" so once again, they are expecting me to play detective.
I asked them to pursue the interim payment decision in the interim, they said they could not. None of it makes any sense at all. I am totally frustrated. Good luck with your court case. Please stay in touch.

timefliesby Tue 01-Oct-13 14:07:05

Can anyone advise what I am supposed to do when my variation is on hold because they are waiting on tax calculation information from my ex? The info from @glad2befree is really helpful but I can't appeal the variation until a decision is made and currently they could wait on my ex's tax returns until the kids are 80...he's never going to provide them!

Witsend333 Sat 08-Feb-14 10:10:28

Hello time flies by

Sorry I have never replied only just saw message above.

I do not mean to dishearten you but I have been dealing with Csa / mps solicitors etc for at least 12 years of my children's life !! It almost became a full time job ( and I do already have a full time job ) - I have been round in circles passed from pillar to post provided info on lifestyle / even though had strong evidence mortgage expensive cars large sums borrowed from bank several million - I had to send in a list of his bills ! I worked these out from the sq footage of the house as I don't have access to his bills !! I am going to tribunal after another years wait he has now claimed benefit Nd transferred everything to his new wife ! I don't think I will win the case Csa assessed him lifestyle inconsistent and then reduced amount to £600 per month which of course he will never pay ( already has charging order on property as. He owes £6k in payments of child m) - I am going to court in march . In my experience the Csa are useless and just when you think you are getting somewhere it will not happen the ONLY route is to appeal and go to tribunal as you will end up there at some point anyway !!! Push straight away as it will take at least a year for case to go to court

Good luck to everyone
The system is terrible it does not work and after 12 years I know the system inside out go to court

bisjo Sat 08-Feb-14 10:29:13

My experience of the CSA is they are helpful but toothless. Ds's NRP left his employed job and set up his own business when ds was newborn and has hid his income ever since. He has a lifestyle completely inconsistent with his declared earnings but HMRC are not interested in investigating. As a result the CSA can do nothing. They did manage to get him to pay £3000 in arrears after he told me I wouldn't see a penny but since then we get £60 a month.

timefliesby Tue 11-Feb-14 17:20:47

Hi Witsend333 - 12 years!!!! OMG!!!
I have just written to my MP and am going to go to the next MP surgery. I can't wait 12 years! :-( thanks for replying.
Hi bisjo, really seems like there are lots of similar stories out there. Thanks for sharing.
These situations really should be treated with some urgency, after all, there are children involved that need feeding, clothing and housing! It beggars belief that the CSA can take so long bringing these fathers to account.

LunchLadyWannabe Tue 11-Feb-14 17:40:33

Can i ask..

Those of you that have reported your ex to hmrc and say they are not interested..

How do you know that hmrc havent investigated?

Witsend333 Tue 18-Feb-14 01:01:37

After I have been to tribunal in march I will post
To give any assistance to anyone going through
Similar - ie father being self employed and drawing
Low salary when living in luxury

When you are not happy with anything appeal
Ask for variation ask for a departure go to tribunal
Sending a complaint to the CSA gets you no
Further forward just appeal straight away as it
Has taken 1 year and 2 months to then be heard
In court- they have that many appeals

Witsend333 Tue 18-Feb-14 01:12:45

To time flies by

Is your interim maintenance assessment IMA A or IMA B
They can enforce the amount if he is not providing
Information - are you happy with the amount calculated
In the IMA ? Is it realistic ? My exs IMA a debt accrued
To several thousand he was pursue and a charging
Order was placed on his house - WHAT is important
Is that you normally have a months time frame
To appeal just appeal it will take ages anyway - it
Means you have started the process and can
Give any evidence in court don't waste years like I have

Good luck

Witsend333 Tue 18-Feb-14 01:19:05

Ps I gave info on lifestyle inconsistent for years only to find it was ignored due to red tape - ie not applied for a departure and filled out the DEPARTURE form so make sure you have got it filled it out - the way they work is you have to proove his expenditure to proove his lifestyle !! You need to guess bills as best as poss and outgoings do not worry if not accurate - just do it it's just another PROCESS to get you to the next process to appeal and get to court

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