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HICBC

person recieving benefit incorrectly told partner they no longer recieved the benefit

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In 2010 /2011 I changed jobs -My income went up from below £19,000 to above £48,000.

My wife and I had claimed working tax credits and child tax credits .

In the 2010/2011 tax year we were contacted by the HMRC to tell us we needed to pay back the credits as my income was over the threshold - this we did.

the HMRC contacted both myself and my wife and told us we no longer needed to submit self assesssments.

The HICBC was introduced in 2012/2013 .I asked my wife if she received any benefits -she said no that she no longer recieved any benefits.

My wife and i have three children all born prior to the introduction of the HICBC .

My wife is the indiviual who claimed for and recieved the benefit.

Based on her statement that she no longer recieved child benefit I did not fill out a self assessment .

The knowlegde i had was that i had to earn over £50,000 -i was on about £48,000- that i was not registered for self assessment -I am paid via PAYE  ,I was registered for self assessment already as Both I and my wife owned a business together prior to 2009 but had a letter from the HMRC telling me not to use self assesment .

and that either I or my partner claimed child benefit .

Under the idea that we are indiviuals and our tax /income affairs are private I simply asked my wife if she recieved this benefit -she said no and that was that .

I recieved a letter in september telling me that i had to pay the HICBC from the time it started plus the usual penalities ,fines ,interest etc .

I am currently gathering together the information I will need to challenge this .

So my question is this .

As an indepentant tax payer was it reasonable for me to take my wifes statement that she did not recieve the child benefit as fact  or is there an ounus on me to check that information is correct -

In my wifes defence the HMRC had recouped and stopped our receit of Working Tax credit and Child tax credit and she confused this with a stop on the child benefit payment.

when the HMRC wrote to me they had included a complete table showing my income , emplyee benefits ,my pension contridutions and the value paid to my wife in child benefit .So it seems to me that he HMRC had sufficent information to justify sending me an instruction to self assess as well as information regarding my wifes child benefit status .Which they obviously have access too as they included this private information in the letter sent to me .

My wife and I are happily married but I can think of numberous situations where a woman may no wish their partner to be aware of their income.

Anyhow thats a different question .

any opinions on this .

 

 

I

 

 

Replies (18)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd Feb 2021 11:01

Yeah, you've hit on the nub of this ill-considered legislation.

It's very easy to be caught out.

But have I missed something ? You only earn £48,000 so you're not affected.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Paul Crowley
22nd Feb 2021 11:19

PAYE
Any benefits?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
23rd Feb 2021 16:46

The other nub of what I consider to be not only ill-considered but just plain wrong legislation (yes I know it's been discussed to death):

Here we have a household with joint income of £57k facing clawback of benefit plus interest and penalites, whereas a couple with joint income of £100k could walk away with the benefit intact.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd Feb 2021 16:54

Quote:

The other nub of what I consider to be not only ill-considered but just plain wrong legislation (yes I know it's been discussed to death):

Here we have a household with joint income of £57k facing clawback of benefit plus interest and penalites, whereas a couple with joint income of £100k could walk away with the benefit intact.

There was nothing wrong with taxing the family as a unit. Unfortunately, some "far-sighted" folk voted for independent taxation in 1990. Principles are great but they can be expensive.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Paul D Utherone
23rd Feb 2021 17:17

Ah, back in the days of WEE :)

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Replying to Paul D Utherone:
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By Paul Crowley
23rd Feb 2021 17:22

WEIA as I recall

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd Feb 2021 17:49

Great fun - and many a happy afternoon spent working out options with pen, paper and calculator.

You needed a strong awareness of marginal rates to get the right answer.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By clifden74
24th Feb 2021 07:18

How did the government actually get this legislation changed.
Surely someone must have noticed that it would completely undo the concept of Independent taxation.
Noted with some irony that austerity was over a few years back yet We are still left with this charge that was implemented to address the financial crisis of 2010.
All in it together.

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Replying to clifden74:
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By gillybean04
25th Feb 2021 23:49

When you elect clowns, expect a circus.

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By SteveHa
22nd Feb 2021 12:07

I've successfully appealed on multiple occasions against penalties levied on one partner where the other receives child benefit.

The clincher, of course, is that whilst there is a legal obligation to report child benefit where HICBC applies, there is no legal obligation that requires one partner to disclose their financial affairs to the other.

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By clifden74
22nd Feb 2021 12:55

Thank you all for your replies .
In the year the HICBC 2012/2013 was introduced my salary was £48,000 BUT I managed to get promoted and a pay rise so by 2014 I was on £57 000. My wife wasn't actually working so our house hold income was just my earnings .the more i look into this charge the more angry I get becasue each year the HMRC sent me an annual tax summary which clearly states what i paid tax on and what that tax is spent on , no mention of the HICBC and no mention of this Adjusted net income.
Surely the HMRC must realise that if joe bloggs knew about the HICBC they would look to adjust their pension contributions to best ameliorate the impact of the charge .
I did write to my local MP but that was of little use .
on a final note i looked up the statistics on the people who are claiming child benefit - 90% female which is understandable .the percentage of people impacted by the charges and getting penalises - 90% male

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Replying to clifden74:
RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd Feb 2021 13:07

Quote:

Surely the HMRC must realise that if joe bloggs knew about the HICBC they would look to adjust their pension contributions to best ameliorate the impact of the charge .

Well, maybe you'll have to point your finger at your wife there. Maybe if she'd told you she was getting this money, your joint finances would have been a lot easier.

But I agree that HMRC should pick this up a lot earlier. I don't accept that Child Benefit is paid by someone else. It's paid by the Government. HMRC is the Government too.

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Replying to clifden74:
By Duggimon
22nd Feb 2021 13:12

Quote:

on a final note i looked up the statistics on the people who are claiming child benefit - 90% female which is understandable .the percentage of people impacted by the charges and getting penalises - 90% male

Struggling to find what your point is here. Most of the people convicted of murder are male too but it doesn't mean the rules against murder are unfair on men.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By Paul Crowley
22nd Feb 2021 14:16

Women need to up their game
Why are they so under represented

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
By SteveHa
23rd Feb 2021 16:28

I know a couple of women in Manchester who are actively hoping to equalise matters. Taking Women's lib to the extreme IMO, but hey ho.

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By Duggimon
22nd Feb 2021 13:10

I think you might have some luck appealing the penalties imposed, as you say you had reason to believe you were up to date on tax and HMRC had the means to cross check and catch the omission sooner. Your wife receives money in to her back account regularly from the government though and it is not unreasonable to think that at some point in the eight years since you asked her about it, she might have spotted it and possibly wondered why she was receiving money, so it's far from a sure thing.

You will definitely have to pay the HICBC though, and probably the interest too, as that is no more than what you rightly owe under the rules and no amount of this-isn't-fair will change that.

You might have a case if you want to sue your wife for the penalties, but I would suggest that's not a great course to take.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By clifden74
22nd Feb 2021 13:57

I did raise this point with my wife regarding where did she think the money was coming from .She assumed it was coming from my account - To be fair the way the child benefit payment is referenced is awful on the bank statement
its a 10 digit number followed by chb which when added into the various banking codes and abbreviations is well hard to pick out .that combined with online statements and every contactless payment been listed makes for a very muddled picture .
Going to pass on suing her.

The HMRC officer who put the letter together in September included all the information that was needed - I didn't supply this information so they must have compiled it from all the sources they have .
I find it odd that the system that is directly used in relation to the child benefit scheme has no way to access the information contained within the child benefit payment system .In 2021 i would believe it reasonable for an individual to expect that such a interlink would be in place and in use

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Replying to clifden74:
RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd Feb 2021 14:08

Quote:

I find it odd that the system that is directly used in relation to the child benefit scheme has no way to access the information contained within the child benefit payment system .In 2021 i would believe it reasonable for an individual to expect that such a interlink would be in place and in use

Pffft - tell HMRC that their systems are carp.

We all agree.

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