Child Maintenance Service Rage!!!(14 Posts)
Just wondered if anyone had any experience of this...?
My ex is a partner in a law firm and has a salary but also receives substantial bonuses and dividends from the profits. The bonuses are, unbelievably, not included in the salary details that the Child Maintenance Service get from HMRC, only his basic salary.
The bonuses are huge and he is getting away with not paying anywhere near as much as he should. However the CMS say they can't do anything unless I can prove he gets the bonuses/dividends!!! How on earth am I expected to do that??!! No info on Companies House, only that he is a director...
Anyone been in a similar situation??
Cheers, Pixie x
Get your MP involved.
Bonus and dividends should be included. My DH pays maintenance on having the benefit of a company car and health insurance so how they can say bonuses aren't, I don't know.
My DH has also been forced through a review because his ex said he gets an annual bonus (she has no proof of this because he doesn't get one).
Contacting your MP seems to get the CMS to do anything.
Four - Presumably car and health insurance included because they are consistent throughout the year but bonuses aren't, and also bonuses aren't guaranteed? OP - If his bonuses are that high are they pushing him into higher rate tax bracket i.e. is he completing a tax return every year? If so, HMRC must know about them even if it's only at the end of the tax year. Why do CMS work on declared 'salary' and not the tax return total? Why would/how could you be expected to 'prove' it? Ridic.
I don't know how or why they can't take the other income into consideration either, doesn't make any sense!!!
I have to complete a 'variation form' with any info I have that he receives other income...then they 'may' investigate further with HMRC.
Why the onus is on me to find this out I don't know...surely the money he earns is the money he earns!!! Ludicrous!! Fuming!!!
Thanks Fourormore, I will mention my MP when I next ring...and will forward them a copy of the variation form.
Well that is ridiculous because my DHs ex didn't have to do any of that and the onus was on my DH to prove that he didn't get anything.
He did used to get a bonus and again that wasn't guaranteed but was included in the HMRC figure.
They seem to make up different rules anytime anyone calls.
I ve never heard of this.
As far as im aware dividends are taken into account if either party requests them to be. I ve never known the receiving parent having to prove the other parent receives dividends.
Maybe part of me completing the variation form is me requesting they are taken into account as his income. Just seems a very long winded way to go about something that should be a given!!
I just read an article on Gingerbread about it, seems they would like the process to change but CMS do it the way they do the simplify their procedures...what a joke that is!!!
I really sympathise with you, sorry this is a long post but I hope this info helps.
My ex is a company director of a firm he part owns, he owes me five months arrears, as you say the CMS have done nothing to retrieve this money even though they could issue an enforcement order. Now he has sent wage slips to them showing that his income has diminished considerably. Basically I will get nothing moving forward not even my arrears as he isn't earning enough this year to justify the calculation for this year which was based on last years HMRC figures which included his dividends. I know he is committing fraud but the CMS accept wage slips at face value and do not have the right to cross check with HMRC until the end of the tax year. My ex is PAYE, so how easy would it be if the CMS could just check what tax he is paying!
Anyway what you need to do is to issue a mandatory reconsideration with regards to the amount you are currently receiving which does not include his bonus. The CMS will reconsider their decision but will give you the same answer as before, there is no evidence to show he receives a bonus.
Next you need to request an appeal form from the CMS, this will entitle you to go to a tribunal. This is a legal process and the judge has the power to request full financial disclosure, they can request bank statements, details of investments, etc. You do not necessarily have to attend this tribunal, you need to produce a statement about why you believe he gets a bonus etc. You do not need to get a solicitor either, take it from someone who has represented themselves a solicitor is an unnecessary expense especially with this court. The judge can also request tax details from HMRC, I'm also given to believe that these tribunals have accountants and tax experts who are well versed in all the dodges that Fathers employ to reduce payments.
For anyone out there who like me has an ex who is deliberately hiding money through leaving dividends in a company account or possibly getting another person to draw down his dividends, this also will be investigated by the tribunal. Unscrupulous individuals such as my ex use a process called a dividend waiver, this means they don't get paid their dividends but leave them and draw them down at a later stage, often years later, he is doing this as our daughter finishes full time education next year, so thinks it won't be used as part of his CMS calculation. It is illegal to use a dividend waiver unless commercially a business can justify it, this would essentially mean the business was in financial difficulties, his is not. If you also believe that this is what your ex is doing you need to explain that in your statement to the tribunal.
I would also say if the Father is self-employed and you know that they are likely to cause issues around maintenance do not opt for the family-based option, go for the statutory option, this will save you a lot of time and anguish.
Going through the tribunal process is time consuming and frustrating but I would urge you to do this. Also do write to your MP, and if you are unhappy about the CMS complain to them in writing, Citizen's Advise have the process on their website. Finally go onto Gingerbread's website, they are currently campaigning for changes to the law on child Maintenance.
Good luck, I'm just starting the tribunal process but am determined that he will not get away with what he is doing, my daughter has done nothing to deserve the poverty he has inflicted on her.
Thank you very much for your reply SWD75....really helpful.
I've received a variation form from the CMS, just dreading the aftermath of sending it in. My ex is so vicious....I've just spent a week and a half getting the CMS to get him to pay this years arrears, total nightmare! They take every ridiculous excuse he gives them seriously and I have to counter argue everything. Feels as though it's set up to make things as difficult as possible for the receiving parent. Just exhausting
I approached the CMS some months ago. Ex obviously knows how to lengthen a process through them, as well as make me look extremely bad. Well, nothing but conflicting advice and information from them. They're in his favour, judging by how easy it is for him to state whatever he wants and they accept it.
I requested an appeals form today. Apparently they do not issue an appeals form. The manager gives a yay or nay as to whether I have enough evidence to star an appeals process. Bank statements from clients showing payment for work done is not enough. A judge will not listen to a tribunal, nor take into consideration any tax evasion, as CMS have done all they need to, based upon ex's HMRC information. Therefore, the Mandatory Consideration is and is not an option (I will be turned down) and the only route, with no option of being given updates, is a criminal investigation.
None of my notes had been looked at prior to a call from the manager. The call back was to address the monies owed and the conflicting advice and information given. The manager stated it was just to address the monies owed. Apparently, this is not considered arrears, as that is not what it is called now, and the calculations absorb the past months monies due to --system being played--/ --wholly unnecessary--investigations. The calculations have been lowered by over £250.
I believe SWD75, not the information given to me today, simply as it not only makes sense, it correlates with other information sourced elsewhere.
Will make headway.
Good Luck to all in their stand against unscrupulous bullies.
Thank You SWD75
To All Posters:
I am Self Employed NRP, but still have to complete an HMRC Self Assessment each year. By Law this has to include ALL SOURCES OF INCOME both earned and unearned. The earned is the salary. The unearned is the; dividends, bonuses and any rental income or interest on savings.
Issue seems to be that some CMS case workers do not know how to interpret the information on the HMRC Tax Returns. In my case CMS after reviewing HMRC documents made an assessment of 8 Pounds per week! How can any RP raise a child on 8 pounds per week? I made contact and asked how they arrived at their figure and received the reply
"we only take earned salary into account. If RP wants us to take unearned income into account they have to apply for a Variation"
Silly system as if RP can apply for a Variation why do CMS not take into account all sources of income on the first place?
Accounts available at Companies House may not show that much if they are abbreviated accounts that Smaller Companies are permitted to file.
Not sure how you have concluded that non payment of dividends is illegal? Many Companies retain part of their net profits for a rainy day. There is another thread on MN which deals specifically with this subject. Posts by Legal seemed to be that until Director actually pays themselves the money still belongs to the Company as it is a separate legal entity.
CMS tribunals are not bad at examining accounts apparently, but will accept that it is reasonable to leave some money in the Company for a rainy day. How much that should be is dependant on the nature of the business.
I am Consultant and Ltd Company is a payment vehicle only. To cover gaps between Contracts I allow 6 months earnings to be kept in reserve. CMS seemed okay with that.
"I know he is committing fraud..."
If you have the evidence give it to HMRC.
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