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(27 Posts)
greenberet Fri 24-Nov-17 03:10:01

Ladies please sign this petition to support all those current past and future who have not received full CMS from NRP due to a current loop hole that allows self - employed/ Company Directors to minimise their earnings and as a result pay far less in child maintenance than they should to support their children.

Although there is a process for taking into account the full earnings it is long and drawn out, involves HMRC and appeals and tribunals and I believe is another way that allows emotional and financial abuse of the mother and by default the children to continue.

This campaign started in June 2013 long before I had any idea my marriage was in trouble let alone that I would end up in this position myself. My situation is still unresolved.

There are many on this forum who are affected by this - please sign to support the Lady who put this into place and hopefully together we can get this changed for the welfare of our children.

greenberet Fri 24-Nov-17 14:03:18


ChristinaParsons Fri 24-Nov-17 20:45:14


incogKNEEto Fri 24-Nov-17 21:45:50

Done and shared.

elliemillie Fri 24-Nov-17 22:44:10

There are also a lot of single mothers with children who use low salary high dividend structures because it's a tax effective way of getting money out of their limited company.

If people don't want to take care of their kids they will find ways. I get it that you are only looking at it from the point of view of your situation. But the structure you describe is not there for people to use to get out of paying child maintenance.

So for e.g should a director who pays herself a small salary or none at all to enable a re-investment in her business to help it grow be forced to make the Company go bust by paying herself a high salary because some fathers abuse the system?

I don't see how anyone can force a company director to pay themselves more. The petition seems to not understand how small businesses work at all. hmm

YellowMakesMeSmile Fri 24-Nov-17 23:55:37

I can see why people would be upset if it's been done after a split but the majority likely paid themselves this way when in the relationship and the partner was more than happy to benefit then....

Likewise, many RP will pay themselves this way so why is that any different?

Disquieted1 Sat 25-Nov-17 00:29:25

There is no shortage of female businesses consultants, taxi drivers, hairdressers, doctors, actors etc who organise their businesses this way, yet the petition is aimed at men.

While everyone will support the concept, the petition itself is rather naive and badly worded. Something simple like "All net income, including that from capital, should be factored into child maintenance calculations" would possibly work better. This means the income of both parents.

elliemillie Sat 25-Nov-17 07:24:49

the majority likely paid themselves this way when in the relationship and the partner was more than happy to benefit then....

This! And yes the petition is worded badly. Even this post seems of conflate self employment and company directorship. Sole traders are self employed too. Maybe a more generous tax adviser than me can help them word it better.

I set these up everyday and millions of businesses use this structure I doubt the petition will get any traction at all.

Good luck with it is all I can say. Too many lives depend on it for me to sign it because some shitty dad's are exploiting it.
Chancellor after Chancellor have tried to implement IR35 rules to get contractors to pay more tax and have got no where. The economy depends on contractors who use these structures. HMRC last year had all the IT contractors who wrote the IR35 software resign en masse because they wanted to force IR35 on them. Phillip Hammond had to step back from it in his budget this week. The cynic in me thinks it's because the strop from large corporates who depend on staff using these structures would have been massive.

Sorry for going off topic but wanted to give you a wider picture.

Child maintenance should probably be based on the figures on the total income figures as shown on an individual's SA302, just like mortgages for self employed people.

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 25-Nov-17 09:02:28

the majority likely paid themselves this way when in the relationship and the partner was more than happy to benefit then

Benefit from what? Money coming into the household? Money that helped support the children of the family?

I understand self employment and small businesses very well, thanks. Suggesting —mainly— women should just suck up single parenthood and manage on their own because as part of a couple they were happy to accept how self employment works totally misses the point of child support. It is not some kind of game. You are messing with your child’s quality of life, living conditions, future outcomes. Your position just adds to the misogynistic clap trap spouted across these forums when it comes to single mums. Way too many women happy to support the status quo and stick two fingers up at other women and children, despite the obvious shortcomings of the system.

Utterly disgusting. It’s beyond any reasonable expectation that in 2017 anyone is actively supported by the State and society at large to abandon the financial aspect of bringing up a child. And yet here we still are.

YellowMakesMeSmile Sat 25-Nov-17 09:08:40

I don't think society or the state are to blame for it all but until child benefits are abolished then they do encourage people to have children and not support them.

I think the parents are. Both RPs and NRPs opt out very easily of financially supporting a child with no sanctions. That's what's disgraceful not utilising tax laws to their full.

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 25-Nov-17 09:19:00

Ah yes, women shoukdn’t Have children they can’t support. It is perfectly acceptable for men to avoid paying for their children, however. And Indeed, a woman’s fault if she receives financial support from the state.

What would you rather? Thousands of women and children sleeping in the streets whilst their ex husbands make more children?

YellowMakesMeSmile Sat 25-Nov-17 09:33:41

I don't think it's acceptable for either sex to opt out and there should be harsh state sanctions for doing so. Being female isn't an opt out.

The thread was about self employed people and posters are simply commenting that the partners were fine enjoying the perks of the tax advantages when together and only object once a split occurs. There was no moral compass when they were gaining from it.

elliemillie Sat 25-Nov-17 10:03:51

I understand self employment and small businesses very well, thanks. Suggesting —mainly— women should just suck up single parenthood and manage on their own because as part of a couple they were happy to accept how self employment works totally misses the point of child support.

If you understand self employment and small businesses then you will also know what an SA302 is. You have ignored what I have said about people's comprehensive income being used instead of earnings from a ltd co. because you are so determined to scream misogyny.

The petition in it’s current state won't go anywhere so either take the comments from people who know more about tax than you on board and tweak it to target the problem you are trying to solve better, or scream your ignorance away.

Your call hmm

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 25-Nov-17 10:42:22

Being female isn't an opt out

If you could be bothered to do even the tiniest bit of research, you would know that by far the majority of single parents are in work. You would also know that by far the majority of single parents receive no maintenance and that a significant number of those who receive no maintenance do so because of a self employment situation. There is very little ‘opt out’ on the part of women. Far, far less opt out than there is being male.

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 25-Nov-17 10:57:01

posters are simply commenting that the partners were fine enjoying the perks of the tax advantages when together and only object once a split occurs. There was no moral compass when they were gaining from it

You assume that self employment was always the case for all PWC now experiencing this issue? That there is no history of going self employed once a relationship breaks down specifically to avoid paying maintenance? Or Indeed, that no decent parent would actually avoid supporting their children in the first place, rather than seeking to use tax laws and self employment as a means by which to avoid it?

You ignore dodgy accounting practise, the putting the business into the name of the new partner, drawing small salaries and having new partner draw the majority of money etc. etc. All things that few people in first relationships would sanction but which are perfectly acceptable in subsequent relationships. All perfect ways of reducing maintenance or ensuring a £nil assessment.

Not ignorant at all. And particularly not ignorant of how tax works in small business and self employment. I also know just how deeply ingrained the single parent is at fault is in our society and how utterly pointless it is to speak out. This thread being a case in point, don’t you think? You can change a petition but until there is widespread societal change on this issue, nothing will change.

elliemillie Sat 25-Nov-17 12:04:36

Sounds like you want to rant really and thats fine. But your ranting will not chnage tax laws to suit a few people.
A more sensible solution is what I and Disquieted1 suggested

But you didn't come on to this thread for solve the problem or offer anything constructive did you ohreally?

We all know the unfairness of the system. No one person on this thread has said single parents were being unreasonable to want fathers to pay more.

We totally agree they have to pay for their kids but you are approaching it from the wrong angle completely. If they used comprehensive income rather than earnings to decide the child maintenance payments, then the problem you describe will be minimised.

Philip Green puts most of his money in his wives name in order to pay less tax. All and sundry know that but the tax rules have not changed so drastically to change that. Because there are also responsible parents who put their assets in the name of their wives and children to protect them from all sorts of financial and legal situations. And changing it because of fuckers like Green and some ex husbands is not feasible.

For some people in abusive situations having separate beneficial owners and shareholders for their company is helpful if they can't leave the relationship. Not everyone leaves.

There also also ex husbands who pay for their kids childcare using child care vouchers from their ltd cos to pay less tax. That money will not show up on their earnings. These are the Exs who care about their kids and want them to thrive.

The problem is irresponsible parents who don't give a toss about their kids rather than the tax system. Changing the tax system will not make them more responsible. Some really shitty actually ones stop working altogether and become a burden on the state.

But good luck getting them to change the tax laws to suit your personal situation.

greenberet Sat 25-Nov-17 14:11:00

WTF -Ellie & disquieted you obviously have no idea what this petition is about - all I can say is lucky you - it's not about getting the tax laws changed per se it's getting the process that the CMS use to make sure children get the lifestyle they had when part of a family. This was before the men in the majority of cases chose to bugger off with someone else and then decide to no longer contribute to maintain this level thus causing women and children to endure some hardship.

Maybe the petition is badly worded but at this stage it's about getting our plight recognised. My x earnt income in the region if £150 k whilst we wre married made up of salary & dividends & then salary and directors loan during the court case purely to manipulate the financial outcome. The business was apparently going down the pan but seems to support him & OW who works for him pretty well.

Meanwhile I am surviving on tax credits, child benefit, PIP in recognition of long term depression and the £65 per week he pays for his 2 kids. i expect he pays about this just to maintain their phones - his way of having a "hold" over them.

Maybe you are right in that nothing will change but people have to try - we have to make a stand against a system that is flawed and as a consequence of this many children are suffering - it is only down to the strength and determination of the mothers who are doing their best to protect their kids that hopefully the kids are unaware of this.

This has nothing to do with misonygy - in fact there's more misonygy coming from you directed at ohreally. I'm not sure what your issue is here but if you cannot support this then just stay away. Your lack of understanding and compassion is uncalled for

greenberet Sat 25-Nov-17 14:16:52

Thank you to those who have supported
@timefliesby @csct

elliemillie Sat 25-Nov-17 21:27:53

I wouldn't call myself lucky. ExH pays zilch towards his daughter's upkeep. I clicked on this post because I was interested in signing the petition. However I am a tax advisor and I and a lot of my clients support families using a similar structure. Current DH doesnt work either. Thankfully he doesn't have other children apart from our two so doesn't have to pay CM.

If the post didn't mention a tax loophole I would have signed it. All I am saying is that there is a better way to word it.

greenberet When you were still married and your husband was earning a salary and dividends of 150k it was ok wasn't it? Why didn't you post a similar petition then? Where was your compassion?

If he is taking directors loans to get out of paying child maintenance then he is doing it out of spite. The rate of tax on directors loans is 32.5% which is less than child maintenance payments if he earns 150k. He also has to pay Employers NI on any loans over 10k.

If he pays his new wife more than 8060 this year he has to pay employers NI and so does she. Again if they choose that route it's to spite you nothing to do with the tax laws.

I am all for child maintenance being based on comprehensive income rather than employed earnings. I have said so ad nauseaum on this post. If the petition is tweaked to say that I and many others will sign it.

As it happens the same tax loophole you are bashing is what a lot of mum's left with children to care for use to make their lives a bit bearable. Espescially in london. To suggest only men structure their businesses like that is naive and a bit ignorant.

I am not asking you to do what I have done and support your kids and family on only your income but at least get the facts right. Some single mothers are in the name boat as you and what you are suggesting will screw them over. But I supposed so long as it gets you your child maintenance it doesn't matter if the single mums who take care of their kids using salary, divs or loans suffer?

greenberet Mon 27-Nov-17 14:12:32

@elliemillie ok I get your point now - I don't think it was clear where you were coming from in your earlier posts and yes I am fully aware that my x is doing what he can out of spite.

This was not my petition I posted it here as i thought it would get more traffic - I was directed to it from somewhere on MN but I can't remember where. I linked to the original Op for their attention but they have not commented

The last thing I am out for is just to benefit myself hence again why I posted here - I know I am not the only one in this situation from what I read on MN But I see what you are saying and get it - maybe it's not a case for the tax office after all but more for CMS to resolve.

As you are a tax adviser how about coming up with some wording that could be used - I don't know how the original OP drafted her petition whether she had help etc but as this has been going on for 4 years maybe she just felt she needed to get something done and did so without fully appreciating the bigger picture.

I get this too - you want to try and help others and minimise the shit they need to go through by using your own experience to try and change things but the emotional destruction from these men never ends and it is continually draining - certainly in my case - and I can fully understand that once you get to a certain point where this stuff is no longer such a major impact you just want to keep going and put it all in the past.

It takes a huge amount of resolve to try and implement changes especially if you are doing it on your own.

I'm not sure I have the headspace to take this on but if you can come up with some wording that you feel is more appropriate then maybe we can get some more signatures and go from here.

You have invested a huge amount of energy in pointing out that what has been produced so far will not get anywhere - and you have the right knowledge to help us with the correct wording for it to stand a chance.

I haven't got the headspace to take this on fully so unless the Original op picks this up I guess this is where it Witt end

greenberet Mon 27-Nov-17 14:14:55

Oops meant to delete the last sentence

YellowMakesMeSmile Mon 27-Nov-17 17:50:41

it's getting the process that the CMS use to make sure children get the lifestyle they had when part of a family

That all depends on the lifestyle and who funded it though. Whilst so many women opt out of working or do a token few hours them their lifestyle will change dramatically in the event of a split. That's a risk they take when they choose not to be the main or equal earner. The RPs lifestyle won't change much if they were an equal or main earner, likewise the home the NRP provides will likely remain the same if they were.

greenberet Tue 28-Nov-17 10:58:28


you know had I realised that sitting around on my arse all day while the fairies did all the childcare and house stuff meant that my kids lifestyle would have been seriously compromised when the X chose to bugger off with someone else to make himself feel better I would seriously have thought about putting my kids in childcare from dawn to dusk to save my career.

but stupidly i thought marriage would protect me in the divorce courts and that a joint decision that was made 20 years ago for the benefit of all would be given more consideration.

But no it was not - had i chosen to have kids with a sperm donor, kept my job and my house that I owned when I met the X I would be better off than i am now - the risk was not being the main or equal earner - the risk was marrying the wrong bloke! because a decent bloke would not have screwed over his wife & kids for the sake of his own ego

so dont give me That all depends on the lifestyle and who funded it though because I can tell you that i equally funded it! just not in £s and pence!

greenberet Mon 04-Dec-17 08:26:31

please see this link - if you support this please sign the petition - the wording could be improved - but it is the signatures that will make a difference - thank you

CookieDough50 Sun 10-Dec-17 19:52:24

"But no it was not - had i chosen to have kids with a sperm donor, kept my job and my house that I owned when I met the X I would be better off than i am now"

Absolutely my situation too.

I think people also need to realise that often men DON'T WANT their partner to work, e.g. if the man is a high earner and does long hours (or in my ex's case was a high earner, did short hours, but wanted someone to wait on him hand and foot so he didn't need to lift a finger at home and generally be the "star" of the house). My ex and I actually had arguments about him pressurising me to give up work.

I know a LOT of women who have fallen within the various loopholes of the CMS. My personal view is that the CMS is not fit for purpose and is ripe for manipulation by the NRP trying to reduce CMS, even when they can well afford it. The petition may not be perfectly worded but the issue and the loopholes certainly need highlighting.

People also need to realise that with many couples not being married these days CMS will be increasingly to women / RP.

Additionally, even for married women there are now loopholes appearing in the spousal maintenance system and generally SM is not what it was. Hence, I think married could well be looking more and more to CM rather than to SM even if married to very high earners.

My last point, is that at the end of the day if the NRP doesn't pair fair CM then the tax payer will in many instances be left to pick up the pieces.

CM needs urgently addressing, and I really hope people sign the petition just to get the issue highlighted and talked about, even if there are doubts that the precise wording would work in practice.

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