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Tax credit, messed up, need help

(13 Posts)
help7872 Fri 31-Mar-17 19:45:35

Please, I don't know what to do.

I have been a single parent for the last 10 years, husband has been around but living at various addresses, not always in touch. A few years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and it has left him with quite a few physical disabilities. He is on ESA and I was also giving him money to live on (he did a lot of childcare as I work full time). Last June he moved back in with us as he had no where to go. We are not a couple emotionally but he does live here. I informed council tax, utilities etc but genuinely forgot about tax credits, I tried to phone a few times and it just slipped my mind. I know that is hard to believe and I probably won't be believed but I had a lot going on at the time.

Today I have received a letter from them saying they think he is living here, has been for a while and I am to explain myself. I am so scared I don't know what to do. I don't know the best way to reply, by letter or phone but I don't know how to hold it together on the 'phone

I can afford (just) to pay back any tax credits since he moved in, he doesn't bring anything to the household but obviously he is still here. I wasn't getting an awful lot but what I am so scared of is being prosecuted and losing my job and the kids. My head is all over the place and I can't tell anyone.

I know it's all my fault and I deserve everything I get but I am so scared.

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 19:55:28

One thing to consider is if he is claiming Income related ESA ( as opposed to contributions based ) and he has been living with you then he most probably won't have been entitled to that because of your wages. You say he doesn't bring anything to the household but he will be getting ? approx. £130 a week ESA.
Perhaps you could speak to an advisor at CAB who can advise on the best way forward.
Potentially you could both have money to repay depending what type of ESA he is claiming.
How much one benefit affects the other and whether you both could be in trouble I'm not sure.

Bobbins43 Fri 31-Mar-17 19:56:40

You can explain to them that he is living there but you are not a couple and do not share finances

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 19:58:26

Bobbins that would be very hard to prove, especially as they share some money ( ie op gives him money) and children.

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 19:59:42

Op, I doubt you will be prosecuted unless you intentionally deceived them which t doesn't sound like you did. You will jst be asked to pay back any overpayments.

Astro55 Fri 31-Mar-17 20:00:40

I did know a couple in a similar situation - they both claimed housing benifit and got more than if they lived together as a couple!

(FMIW he wasn't babysitting - he was Parenting)

Phone CAB as advised and ask .... but it is unusual

help7872 Fri 31-Mar-17 20:04:54

Sorry, to clarify I should have said he was not is on ESA, it stopped when he said he had moved into my home. (coincided with renewal date). Thank you for the help so far and for not flaming me.

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 20:08:27

If he has no income then surely tax credits would be the same anyway so you shouldn't have an overpayment.

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 20:20:20

Tax credits are based on household income . if your ex has no income then your tax credits would be based on your income alone the same as if you were a lone parent. You should inform tax credits that he is living there now. You may need to just send proof that he has no income, if they check up they may ask to see bank statements from him but this should be easy enough and they will show he has no income. Please try not to worry .

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 20:22:24

And if he is claiming disability benefits such as PIP these are not taken into account for tax credit income either so no need to worry there either.

help7872 Fri 31-Mar-17 21:29:08

Thank you so much Babyroobs. Will it be a problem that I've been giving him money though? He can prove he has had no income so would that be ok?

Babyroobs Fri 31-Mar-17 21:54:47

Yes it should be fine if he is getting no income replacement benefits such as Jsa/ income based Esa.
You are basically living as a couple with one wage earner, so it doesn't matter what you give him as long as he's not claiming benefits as a replacement for earning income.
If he has disabilities that affect his daily living and he needs help or has mobility problems , then he could consider applying for PIP if he doesn't already claim it. It would mean he would have some income to call his own and you wouldn't need to give him money. It must be difficult for him not to have any money.

TreeTop7 Mon 03-Apr-17 21:58:02

You won't be prosecuted but the sooner you ring or webchat with HMRC, the better.

If you owe them anything you'll be able to set up a repayment plan.

Try not to worry.

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