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Secret letters from HMRC, is it my business?

(28 Posts)
pinkfluffypoodleface Sun 09-Mar-14 08:11:13

Do I do anything about these letters?

Due to a financially controlling exH who had a lot of secrets & none of them good, after I divorced him I had to declare bankruptcy as I had no hope of paying the joint debts that he (financial advisor!) accrued. I was ridiculously foolish in trusting him & signed for finance that he said we needed. I won't be making that mistake again.

I now have a dp of 5 years & our relationship is great & will be long lasting. Due to the bankruptcy we don't have joint accounts so he pays a % of his salary into my account & that & my 50% covers all the bills. We then each have a supply of private money each. So our money is separate & it suits us both this way.

However a letter keeps arriving for him, about once a month from HMRC Cumbernauld & he always tucks it away in his pocket & that's the last I see of it. He used to be self employed so I'm wondering if he has a tax bill that he is repaying but I'm a bit wibbly because firstly its HMRC & if he's ignoring letters then it won't go away. Secondly he is hiding the contents from me every month.

Its due to my exH & I'm torn, because half of me thinks that his mail is private & if he has a debt then its his business. But also I didn't think he would keep secrets from me & because of the exH it worries me that it is money related.

I've tried asking him, I've tried telling him that he needn't be ashamed of a tax debt to a bankrupt but all he says it that he doesn't want me to know & that he doesn't want to worry me.

Should I just leave him to it? Is it none of my business?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 09-Mar-14 08:18:43

No I would not leave him to it and he is treating you very unfairly here. He does not want to worry you indeed; well that ship has already sailed!.

I would sit him down and calmly insist on having your concerns properly answered. He needs to tell you what this is all about; why the secrecy from him if you are together. It shows a lack of trust towards you on his part. He should realise that people leave relationships because of overt secrecy as well.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 09-Mar-14 08:19:26

He doesn't want you to know and doesn't want to worry you? That in itself would worry me. He is being secretive and shifty and definitely not as honest and open as you'd like to think.

Do you have any joint financial products? Credit card, mortgage? If so, you're financially linked and I'd say that gives you the right to know.

pinkfluffypoodleface Sun 09-Mar-14 08:22:39

Thanks, no we're not financially linked. I was very thorough in keeping our finances separate due to the BR.

Its good to know I'm not BU & that my concerns are valid. I've tried talking to him about it but he just clams up.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 09-Mar-14 08:23:32

I would also look at the rest of your relationship very closely; if he cannot be completely honest about a HMRC letter that is repeatedly sent to him then he could well be being evasive in other areas as well.

LunchLadyWannabe Sun 09-Mar-14 08:24:36

It sounds like its a tax investigation.

I would ask him again to tell you, and if he doesnt then the only thing i can assume is that its a hell of a lot of money thats being investigated.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Mar-14 09:09:56

It's not unreasonable to know what's going on. That's a fairly basic principle of a long term relationship. You don't have to share finances to have openness about them. I don't like the 'I don't want you to worry' explanation because it's patronising.... hmm

Joysmum Sun 09-Mar-14 10:15:38

Quite often, lying by omission is to protect the partner. You need to be very clear that because if your past you are very very anxious about it and you need to know now what it's about

TeenyW123 Sun 09-Mar-14 10:44:54

Why can't you send the letters back to HMRC and provide them with his new address? It'll stop you receiving his post then.

Lweji Sun 09-Mar-14 10:50:12

I simply couldn't be in a live in relationship without full financial disclosure. End off. Particularly if it involved courts.

pinkfluffypoodleface Sun 09-Mar-14 12:14:28

I don't know what it involves, it could be simple it could be complex. I've googled the Cumbernauld office & it does deal with self employment, & dp was self employed a couple of years ago so perhaps its a query with that. But HMRC chasing letters are not good surely. Unless he's repaying & the monthly letters are a statement kind of thing?

Teeny the letters are for my dp who lives with me.

The letters come when he is at work, should I open the next one & not tell him it came. That way I have an idea what it is. I asked him again this morning & he just fell silent but said it wasn't a tax investigation.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Mar-14 12:21:22

Opening other people's post is not the solution. When the next one comes, intercept it, hand it to him and say that it's very important he opens it in your presence or you'll have to assume the worst. 'Falling silent' is not helping.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 09-Mar-14 12:25:58

I'm self employed (and employ staff) and I get about 3 letters a month from HMRC.

I can assure you that I am not being investigated, or in arrears with my tax, or doing anything dodgy.

I get a notification about paying VAT. A notification about paying NIC. I get notifications about my employees' NIC. I get notificaions about tax credits. I get notificaions about paying tax. I get notificaions about changes to tax law. I get notificaions about different ways I can pay my tax! Ad infinitum. You get the picture. I think HMRC has a crush on me!

Seriously, don't assume it's sinister. It could be just routine.

But you do need to talk to him and tell him how it's worrying you

TeenyW123 Sun 09-Mar-14 12:29:15

Sorry Pink. I misread the OP.

Yeah, HMRC will be sending out computer generated letters in triplicate. It's probably nothing sinister..

But for your peace of mind and relationship openness, you could ask P why they keep writing to him.

Lweji Sun 09-Mar-14 12:54:14

all he says it that he doesn't want me to know & that he doesn't want to worry me.

This is what would worry me.
And the silence.

If it's nothing to worry about, then why not just say it?
And if it's something to be worried, then it's best if it's in the open.

No need for such secrets in a proper relationship. Otherwise you're just flatmates.

QwertyBird Sun 09-Mar-14 13:04:37

How long has this been going on?

Cabrinha Sun 09-Mar-14 13:33:40

If you hadn't already asked him, I would be reassuring you that even without your history I'd want to know what they were!
And I'm very private financially. But you live together - and he's your partner - he should just tell you.

But you have asked him - so even more I think he should tell you. Surely it's obvious that you not knowing would worry you more?

I know this sounds like a big move, but honestly I wouldn't continue in a relationship with someone who refused to tell me so as not to "worry me". I'd actually prefer my partner to say "it's private, I'm not sharing" than "don't you worry your pretty little head". If it was nothing, he'd share.

I'd stick to your guns, but not intercept it. It's not legal, for a start, or moral. Also - if it is just admin, you'll drop it without dealing with his lack of committing to sharing his life with you. The issue here is the refusing to share, as much as whatever the contents are.

deste Sun 09-Mar-14 18:29:04

My DH has a business and gets letters like that almost weekly and he is not doing anything dodgy, I know as I pay his tax bill and VAT.

Qix Sun 09-Mar-14 18:41:32

Have you told him about your ex so that he understands why this secrecy would worry you?

aftereight Sun 09-Mar-14 18:45:24

It's not a payslip, is it? He could be an HMRC employee?

scaredycat12 Sun 09-Mar-14 19:09:41

People currently self employed are saying they get regular HMRC letters from Cumbernauld. But why would people who are no longer self employed be getting regular HMRC Cumbernauld letters? They have no reason to write to him unless there is something still to settle.

Why is he no longer self employed? Was he struggling to make enough money? Self employed people who can't make ends meet often raid the money set aside for the annual tax bill.

If he's getting a regular letter at roughly the same time each month it could well be a statement for an agreed payment plan he has with them. But that means he has a debt and if you are partners he should be sharing that info with you.

How do things seem financially? Does he seem to have cash in his pocket from his private money or is he always broke?

Spiritedwolf Sun 09-Mar-14 21:10:24

If he knows your history, I think its cruel of him not to explain this to you. You aren't someone wishing to snoop about for the sake of it, you have a genuine anxiety because of something absolutely awful that happened to you and left you financially destitute.

Either its nothing to worry about, in which case why not explain what the letters are for, it would harm his privacy not a jot and give you piece of mind.

Or its something to worry about, and he's decided for some reason not to tell you the truth about it. Whether that's because he is a private person, embarrassed, scared of your reaction or doesn't see you as a full partner in his life.

If he is keeping you in the dark as some sort of test of your trust in him when your trust has been so thoroughly abused before, I would find that completely unacceptable. You are an adult who ought to have all the available facts about your life to make informed decisions.

You know, keeping the finances completely separate in terms of not sharing financial products to create a firewall around his credit worthiness is sensible. But this does not need to go hand in hand with secrecy from each other about money. Its a level of privacy about finances I can't fathom having with someone who expected to be a long term partner. I know different people prefer different things but it would not suit me at all.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 09-Mar-14 21:18:15

Scaredy because it takes hmrc a dogs age to catch up. Because he had retained some kind of SE status for tax purposes. Because now he is employed there's been some query with his tax code. Because they write to you randomly thoughout your working life once they have you on the system. There's not automatically something wrong just because there's hmrc letters. Cumbernauld is just one tax off. It's not significant

deakymom Sun 09-Mar-14 22:13:36

open it then burn the evidence? if it really bothers you that much you can open it see if you should be worried then get rid of the letter the worse that could happen is he has to ring for a copy letters are always going astray

doing that may cause a trust issue between you but it looks like there already is one so??

tribpot Sun 09-Mar-14 22:17:13

Surely you need to know if there may come a point where he can't meet his half of your joint financial obligations? Or could you cover the mortgage/rent and bills yourself if you had to, i.e. are you financially dependent on each other even if you have kept the accounts separate?

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