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Tax Credits - I really hope I'm not doing anything fraudulent

(14 Posts)
NotGotaClue Mon 21-Jun-10 10:51:32

The backstory is that (D)H is emotionally abusive. I asked him to move out in November last year when it got too much. I didn't want it to be over but had to make a stand.

Since then he has been getting help and we have been working on rebuilding our marriage (he has his own flat but is around here a lot).

I told Tax Credits he moved out in November, but I've just read on the form that if the Separation is a "Trial Separation" then you still count as a couple.

I haven't tried to do anything wrong, but I do want to rebuild my marriage and hope he will be well enough to try moving back in in the Summer.

There is no way that i could have afforded to ask him to leave without TC and i can't describe how important it was that he go (for my MH).

I don't want a discussion of whether I should give my marriage another go or not with an EA, but I need to know if I've done something wrong with regards to TC. I've also been claiming Council Tax Benefit. Are there any implications there?

He doesn't live here. I want to stress that.


NotGotaClue Mon 21-Jun-10 11:10:16


Can anyone help?

DSM Mon 21-Jun-10 11:14:51

If he isn't living with you, then you've not lied.

You don't have to inform them if you, as a single parent, get a new partner, unless that partner moves in.

Surprised about their 'trial seperation' stipulation TBH.

Sounds like you're not doing anything wrong.

NotGotaClue Mon 21-Jun-10 11:17:27

Thanks DSM. I was really surprised too. I don't know if it's a new addition to the booklet but it did make my heart miss a beat.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 21-Jun-10 11:18:29

If he isn't living with you then he's not your 'partner' surely, otherwise people would have to reassess their tax credits everytime they got laid!

NotGotaClue Mon 21-Jun-10 11:27:58

SGB the form says you are still a couple even if you live apart temporarily and this includes the example of being on a trial separation. I don't know how they define that, I'm hoping it's more a case of him moving out for a week to "find himself", and not my situation of having changed all the bills to my name and moved all his stuff out, but still hoping we can reconcile and working on our marriage.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 21-Jun-10 13:03:28

NGAC: If he is living in a seperate home and all the bills are in your name then I really can't see how you can be considered a 'couple' - otherwise no single parent would be able to date in case they suddenly found themselves labelled a couple even though they have separate homes and are not even monogamous.
I think it's possible that what they are referring to is situations where (for instance) one partner moves out of the family home in order to take a short term job 100 miles away and only comes back at weekends - or is in the military or something but still considers him/herself part of the family unit, and the family home to be his/her home.

NotGotaClue Mon 21-Jun-10 13:42:22

Thanks SGB, I think I've convinced myself I'm being a nobber about this and worrying over nothing.

Thanks for the replies.

marantha Mon 21-Jun-10 14:21:08

Hi, OP, agree with previous replies. I personally do not believe you are doing anything wrong if not actually living together.
You're entitled to a private life, and to be brutally frank, your emotional life is nothing to do with them. It's only the finances they're bothered about.

To be honest, the "trial separation" bit is nonsensical to me. Even IF you and hubby were in some way setting out to deceive i.e. separating with the deliberate intention of getting back together, I don't see how this would be provable as fraud. I mean it's the way of life that people split and get back together again.

I must stress that I am not saying it is right for you (or anyone else) to do this (morally, I think it is wrong) just that I genuinely cannot see how fraud in this instance could be proven. So why bother making an "offence" out of it?

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 21-Jun-10 22:26:18

For tax credit purposes you are still counted as being part of a couple if one partner works away from home or on a trial separation. Its on a lot of their documentation and in the rule book.

For council tax purposes, as long as he is paying council tax at his new place it doesnt count for that.

NotGotaClue Tue 22-Jun-10 10:38:33

HMoO, but how is a trial separation defined? Is that him going and staying with a friend or relative for a month? Or is it that he sets himself up in a new home (pays his own rent, council tax, bills etc as do I) but with a possibility that he will move back were things to improve in our relationship.

This was a separation for us, but since he has put an effort into changing his behaviour and attitude towards me we are now working towards reconciling.

Had I not asked him to move out when I did then I honestly believe that we would now be in the middle of rather a bitter divorce, since it was only the shock of me saying "No more" about the way he was treating me that made him look at himself.

Morally? I have never claimed any other benefits before. I have paid tax. I had no choice but to end my relationship last year and couldn't support myself without TC. I am pleased that we may work this out, but it worries me that I do feel so pressurised by this situation that I may let him move back before I'm fully sure his changes are permanent. But that's not the state's problem I guess.

marantha Tue 22-Jun-10 11:46:15

The more I think about this, the more nonsensical it becomes.
How can you be a "couple" if you're not living together and sharing finances anymore?

Are the tax credits people saying that everyone who claims tax credits has to be in possession of a crystal ball so that they (the claimant) can see into the future in order to know whether or not they will get back together with an ex?

Surely any reasonable person would argue that they ^didn't know in advance^ that they would everntually get back with an ex?

OP, your dilemma is not one that affects me, but I'd like some answers from other folks on this cos it's messing with my sense of logic! smile

JessicaLuis232 Sat 03-Sep-16 08:19:58

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Keller548 Sat 10-Sep-16 03:58:37

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