Any advice gratefully received. I've just received a letter from HMRC to say that they are going to stop my child and working tax credits as of April 2018 because they believe my husband and I are still married.
My ex and I separated in 2014. He moved out immediately and has been living on a narrow boat. Because he's not supposed to officially be living on a narrow boat, he wanted to keep his name on the council tax bill, mortgage and water bills, which he's agreed to pay as part of my maintenance package. Now HMRC say they have evidence of these bills to my address and no evidence to support my claim that we are separated. They have my Decree Nisi (though I understand this is not evidence) and an explanation of the circumstances since he left in 2014.
We finalised the financial order on Friday (5th October) and are about to send this off to court so I can apply for the Decree Absolut. I'm worried that the DA is still not evidence that he doesn't live here if his name is on these bill and he pays them.
He is not an easy person to deal with and can be quite a bully, hence the divorce taking four years to finalise since I first filed.
Any advice on how I manage this please? I can't survive without my tax credits. This amount was taken into account when my ex was deciding what to pay me in maintenance. I work part-time for the NHS and have two young children who live with me full time. He will not be agreeable to paying me the lost benefits.
A few bits of post come to my house, the rest go to work. He’s got no postal address on the narrow boat. The Canal River Trust (CRT), do not allow the boats to be permanent residences so you have to show, by way of council tax payments, that the boat is not your main residence. I was thinking once the Consent Order comes through from the court I could send it to HMRC as evidence of the arrangements and us being divorced, pending DA. However that is probably a few months off (6-8 weeks hopefully), and I’ll be losing benefits in the meantime. Not to mention what I need to pay back and a potential penalty. I’m not sure how to approach him about this. Now the order has been sent off, I imagine he couldn’t care less.
Thanks Wyspecial, much appreciated. Actually they have known the truth all along, I’ve never lied about anything. I explained everything as you said above. When I originally made the claim they said the situation was fine and they didn’t need any evidence. Now after 4 years with his post still coming here and his name on Council Tax bill, they obviously think he still lives here which is understandable. They are suggesting I make a claim as a couple, but I doubt I will be eligible because his income is 10x mine, or more.
More advice please? My stb-ex is refusing to play by the book and wants to try and argue with the HMRC. We have tried to explain to HMRC that this is the arrangement, he pays council tax but doesn't live here. They will not accept it and want his name off the council tax bill, as well as changing his postal address.I've asked him to take his name off the coucil tax and change his postal address, but he's refusing to do it. The Consent Order has still not been sent to court. I have it and he says he won't do what I ask until I send the order in. I don't want to get into silly games with him, i.e. witholding the order, but I'm worried that once the order is sent off to court, then he won't care about my benefits and what happens to me. He's already managed to walk away with all the savings and his pension, so the tax credits were vital in supporting my part-time income. He's offered to pay 50% but says he is struggling financially (which really is not the case and a complete lie) so is unlikely to honour that. Should I seek professional benefits advice, from where?
Thanks in advance.
In my experience HMRC are quite understanding of this situation, but I can see why they are questioning why you are still paying council tax as a couple if he doesn't live there.
One of the first things I did when he left was to inform the council that I was the only adult in the house so that I could claim the single person discount. I also too my ex off the electoral register.
He moved in with his girlfriend, but didn't change his address for things like his bank statements and driving license, despite my requests that he did this.
6 months later HMRC contacted me with their suspicions that he still lived in the FMH and that I wasn't entitled to WTC.
Apparently, HMRC have an arrangement with a credit reference agency whereby they send all details of single claimants and ask if there is any evidence of someone else living there.
I contacted HMRC and explained that my ex had moved out to his girlfriends and that I had asked him to change his banking details etc but he had not done so.
They were understanding and said that they believed me and the case was closed.
When you contacted them, didn't they ask where he was now living if not in your home?
The fact that he is living somewhere that he shouldn't be really isn't your problem and I think you will have to come clean on that
Regardless of the fact that you had an arrangement with him that he would continue to pay all the bills, the facts of the matter are that you were entitled to those tax credits and you just have to do whatever it takes to prove it. The CAB is perhaps your best place to seek help with this.