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Does my boyfriend staying over affect my entitlement to Tax Credits?
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# 1
Beverley
Old 07-01-2012, 9:52 PM
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Default Does my boyfriend staying over affect my entitlement to Tax Credits?

I've been single mum for 13 years and live with my 15 year old child.

I've been dating my boyfriend for he last 6 months and recently, he's spent the occasional night in my home. Not often but sometimes it might be as often as a couple of nights in one week.

Do I need to inform the Tax Credits office? And what about the CSA?

I don't want to get into trouble.
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# 2
Charityworker
Old 07-01-2012, 11:23 PM
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No as he's not with you the majority of the time. If he was contributing to the household he would be classed as living there.
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# 3
McKneff
Old 07-01-2012, 11:28 PM
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It doesnt have to be the majority of the time, there is nothing set in stone when it comes to b/f staying over, lots of things
come to the fore.

Are you linked financially, are there any clothes stored at your house, any toiletries in the bathroom and on and on and on.

Its not cut and dried, if your concerned and not sure, ring the DWP and ask
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
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# 4
Beverley
Old 08-01-2012, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomjonesrules View Post
A couple of nights a week is not occasional or not often. You need to inform HMRC and they will make a determination as to your relationship status. Probably nothing to worry about, but they are the only people that can make such a decision.
In the past three months, he has stayed over for one night on three separate occasions, and two nights over Christmas. I really cannot see how that could be construed as anything but occasional.
Neither of us has any intention of living together.

I will however, call HMRC to check it out.
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# 5
drwho2011
Old 08-01-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
Neither of us has any intention of living together.
Ever......?
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# 6
Sixer
Old 08-01-2012, 11:34 AM
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If your boyfriend only stays over one or two nights a week and if your finances aren't entwined (eg he pays no bills at your house) and if he isn't in any way registered at your address (electoral roll, tenancy agreement, car insurance, etc) then there is no way whatsoever DWP will decide you are living together as man and wife.

Don't worry about it at present, OP. But keep an eye on the situation. If he starts staying over a lot, if you start doing food shopping together, if he starts contributing towards your bills, then you will need to inform DWP.
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# 7
Beverley
Old 08-01-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwho2011 View Post
Ever......?
Never - ever! We've each had bad break ups and agree that we want things to stay as they are - independent of each other.
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# 8
Murgatroyd21
Old 08-01-2012, 4:32 PM
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TC wouldn't have a problem with what you say above, no need to contact them. The ones that do seem to get their knickers in a twist more so are DWP.
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# 9
bargainbunny
Old 17-01-2012, 4:38 AM
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I was told that for IS your partner cannot stay over any night..
The 3 day rule according to her was HB rules but not there rules..

I dont let my bf ever stay over due to this but I do stay over at his sometimes for the odd night but not consecutive nights.

I wish the rules was easily available as I had a feeling the fraud officer was a jobsworth
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# 10
zzzLazyDaisy
Old 17-01-2012, 5:14 AM
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Just to be clear (in the light of some of the replies) tax credits are not administered by DWP and have no connection to Income Support.

They are related to tax and administered by HMRC.
I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.

Letter Before Claim from a parking company? DO NOT IGNORE - THE NEXT STEP IS COURT ACTION. See my thread (page 1 of the parking forum) and FIGHT BACK!
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# 11
Caroline_a
Old 17-01-2012, 7:48 AM
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As far as Income Support is concerned (obviously so not in this case as Tax Credits) I understood the rule was 3 nights in any period. So one in January, one in July and one in December technically would do it (bit extreme, I know). This was told to me by someone who worked in the fraud department whose job was investigating cohabiting claimants, but was a few years ago. I doubt that the rules have changed, but there was always this myth about 3 consecutive days which was never correct.
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# 12
drwho2011
Old 17-01-2012, 8:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargainbunny View Post
I was told that for IS your partner cannot stay over any night..
The 3 day rule according to her was HB rules but not there rules..

I dont let my bf ever stay over due to this but I do stay over at his sometimes for the odd night but not consecutive nights.

I wish the rules was easily available as I had a feeling the fraud officer was a jobsworth
The reason there aren't set rules for nights over is because if there was people would take advantage of the system and push it to the limit.

Instead the state expects people to be honest about their circumstances, i.e if you start refering to your boyfriend as your partner or are seen as by others as partners, you start shopping together, do domestic chores for one another, spend a lot of time together, then its time to make joint claims. None of this necessarily means either party is staying the night but doesn't stop them being partners.

At the end of the day though you will always see people here posting because they want validation that "they aren't breaking the rules" for a number of reasons, usually because of a fear of loosing independence which encompasses many things including the financial aspects.

I once saw a lady who missed some appointments at the JCP because she was organising her wedding, but was insistent that she single because her partner never stayed the night. This is an extreme example but I encountered similar scenarios.

The truth is that there is its hard to define the specific point at which a relationship becomes serious or committed, but generally if people post a thread on this board to ask the question then they are asking the wrong person, instead ask they should ask their OH and decide whether they want things to continue or end them.

Personally I'm offended by your last statement, investigating potential fraud isn't an easy job for a whole host of reasons or do you assume fraud officers don't have any humanity. Unfortunately it is necessary to investigate to protect public funds, fraud is a crime and I've known people who didn't think so because "the state can afford it".

Last edited by drwho2011; 17-01-2012 at 8:39 AM.
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# 13
antrobus
Old 17-01-2012, 9:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargainbunny View Post
....

I wish the rules was easily available as I had a feeling the fraud officer was a jobsworth
They are. See http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dmgch11.pdf

As far as 'cohabiting' and benefits are conerned, you are ' cohabiting' if you live in the same household as a couple. Household is "given its normal everyday meaning" and whether or not you're a couple depends on a number of factors such as whether you have sex together, your financial arrangements, going out in public etc - i.e. its normal everyday meaning.

I can't imagine that it's any different for HMRC and tax credits.

So as far as the OP is concerned, I'd say that they had no obligation to inform the Tax Credits office that their boyfriend was spending the occasional night, but that they would be obliged to inform the Tax Credits office if the boyfriend moved in.
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# 14
zzzLazyDaisy
Old 17-01-2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antrobus View Post
So as far as the OP is concerned, I'd say that they had no obligation to inform the Tax Credits office that their boyfriend was spending the occasional night, but that they would be obliged to inform the Tax Credits office if the boyfriend moved in.
You can be deemed to be a couple, even if you do not live together. If you search the forums you will find examples of this. In one case the OP stayed over at his gf's place for a few weeks owing to her having a serious mental health crisis with little support from outside agencies. He was at the same time maintaining his own flat in another town a considerable distance away (hence him being unable to travel daily). He was on the electoral roll there, paid council tax and had bills in his name, was registered with a doctor there etc. He was also on benefits and it was very clear that he could not possibly be maintaining both homes on his income. But the DWP (in this case) decided they were a couple on the basis of him staying with her to care for her during the crisis (this was supported by reports from her medical and social work team).

After a lengthy period of her being without money and almost losing her home through losing LHA and CTB the decision was reversed. I agree it is an extreme example, but it is not as simple as saying you are not a couple if you don't live together.
I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.

Letter Before Claim from a parking company? DO NOT IGNORE - THE NEXT STEP IS COURT ACTION. See my thread (page 1 of the parking forum) and FIGHT BACK!
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