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  • FIRST POST
    • PoorPennilessMe
    • By PoorPennilessMe 4th Jul 17, 10:03 PM
    • 79Posts
    • 56Thanks
    PoorPennilessMe
    Universal Credit & Self Employment
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 17, 10:03 PM
    Universal Credit & Self Employment 4th Jul 17 at 10:03 PM
    Hi. Looking for a bit of advice. I often do temporary work that requires me to be self-employed (nature of the industry). As well as this, I have been looking for a more permanent job, but in the meantime using UC as a sort of cushion when the temporary work was a bit lower than normal.

    I had an interview at the Jobcentre and was informed I am 'Gainfully Self-Employed'. This means that I should be earning a minimum of £1290 pcm from my self-employment, and that UC would no longer pay anything up to this amount, effectively wiping out my claim. I challenged this, and discovered there is no appeals process, however it was looked at again by a colleague of the person who did the first interview. It turned out that some of my comments were taking extremely out of context, and other information was blatantly invented. The person reviewing it however had no interest in this, and only wanted to discuss things that reinforced the previous decision. I left feeling angry and upset.

    Because of this sudden lack of safety cushion I was forced to move away from the area that has been my home for 15 years, away from my friends and my partner. However one piece of good news was that I had been informed that moving (or similar changes in circumstances) triggers a review of the 'gainfully self-employed' decision, and whilst it couldn't be backdated if a different outcome was discovered, it would effect anything moving forward.

    Cue three appointments in my new area later, and today I have been informed that absolutely I should not be classed as gainfully self-employed, but that the system does not allow a previous decision to be changed. With two exceptions. One is my death. The other is if I provide proof that I am no longer self-employed by means of a letter from HMRC to that effect.

    So I have two choices ahead of me. One is to stop doing any self-employed work and be a proper burden on the system until such time as I can find a suitable full-time job. The other is to unregister as self-employed with HMRC, then to re-register as and when future self-employment work comes in.

    My question(s) applying to the second scenario is: Can I actually do that? Register and unregister as and when work comes in? Won't that be a problem for HMRC? Will self-assessment be problematic if there are multiple periods in one financial year or do they all count as one?

    Any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation or has particular experience or insight greatly appreciated!
Page 1
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 4th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    • 3,453 Posts
    • 2,350 Thanks
    Icequeen99
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    None of that sounds very accurate. you can be re-assessed as gainfully self-employed at any time and you should be able to appeal the decision.

    They don't need a letter from HMRC - it is their test and it is a different test to that done by HMRC.

    You can fail the gainful self-employment test but still have self-employed earnings and be self-employed for HMRC purposes. That is because first they need to establish if the earnings are from self-employment and then separately consider the gainful self-employment test. Doesn't sound like they have understood that and are bringing the two things together.

    Their detailed guidance is here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/618963/admh4.pdf

    IQ
    • PoorPennilessMe
    • By PoorPennilessMe 4th Jul 17, 10:57 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    PoorPennilessMe
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 17, 10:57 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 17, 10:57 PM
    None of that sounds very accurate. you can be re-assessed as gainfully self-employed at any time and you should be able to appeal the decision.
    Originally posted by Icequeen99
    When I first asked about appealing the decision, the person doing it was very confused because the guidance she was looking at did not have any information one way or another. She told me that it normally says either how to appeal or that no appeal is possible. This had neither. The only thing that could be done apparently was for a colleague to 'have a look', which was done. Today the lady dealing with me discussed my situation, went to confer with a colleague, came back and told me that she wanted to check what she suspected, but that "we cannot remove a minimum income level once it's been applied." The ONLY way she explained is for me to cease self-employment completely.

    They don't need a letter from HMRC - it is their test and it is a different test to that done by HMRC.
    Originally posted by Icequeen99
    I asked what evidence would show I am no longer self-employed (in light of the above. That was the response.

    You can fail the gainful self-employment test but still have self-employed earnings and be self-employed for HMRC purposes. That is because first they need to establish if the earnings are from self-employment and then separately consider the gainful self-employment test. Doesn't sound like they have understood that and are bringing the two things together.
    Originally posted by Icequeen99
    That would make perfect sense to me, however common sense in this particular matter doesn't appear to apply. I fully understand it's a new system, and there are bound to be cracks people fall through. I just wish in my case it wasn't so devastating to my life or that someone COULD apply a bit of common sense. However it seems that fear of abuse has tied the system up completely.

    Thank you. I will go through that carefully with a highlighter pen to take with me to my next appointment.
    • PoorPennilessMe
    • By PoorPennilessMe 5th Jul 17, 1:18 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    PoorPennilessMe
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 17, 1:18 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 17, 1:18 PM
    Whilst Icequeen's info is very useful (thank you), I would still ideally like someone to help me with my original questions about registering, unregistering and reregistering self-employed with HMRC please? Thanks.
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 6th Jul 17, 9:51 PM
    • 3,453 Posts
    • 2,350 Thanks
    Icequeen99
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:51 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:51 PM
    Well you can use this form to do that https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/CeaseTrading and then you can re-register using the normal process.

    However, you can't be doing any active trading in the mean-time such as advertising etc....

    I would strongly advise against that course of action unless you are actually ceasing self-employment - i certainly wouldn't do it because DWP staff, who have no experience of tax or HMRC rules, tell you to do so. The guidance I posted above makes it clear that self-employment for tax is different to self-employment for UC and moreover that you can have self-employed earnings for UC (so be registered as self-employed for tax) and fail the gainful self-employment test.

    The answer is simply it is for DWP to reassess you under the gainful self-employment test.

    IQ
    • PoorPennilessMe
    • By PoorPennilessMe 9th Jul 17, 1:12 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    PoorPennilessMe
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:12 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 17, 1:12 PM
    I completely understand, but as UC have told me specifically that they are unable to remov the income without evidence from HMRC that I have ceased being SE (even though they acknowledged the previous decision was wrong), I fail to see what alternative steps are available to me to resolve the issue... That's what I'm hoping for really.

    I get that it's wrong, but without a practical course of action I have to do what they advise surely?

    Very grateful for an alternative!
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 9th Jul 17, 4:42 PM
    • 3,453 Posts
    • 2,350 Thanks
    Icequeen99
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 17, 4:42 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 17, 4:42 PM
    Perhaps get an adviser involved - a welfare rights specialist in your area?

    Or arrange to see your work coach and present their guidance, and if they still refuse just lodge an appeal anyway.

    IQ
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 21st Jul 17, 1:42 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    Mersey
    • #8
    • 21st Jul 17, 1:42 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Jul 17, 1:42 AM
    Hi. Looking for a bit of advice. I often do temporary work that requires me to be self-employed (nature of the industry). As well as this, I have been looking for a more permanent job, but in the meantime using UC as a sort of cushion when the temporary work was a bit lower than normal.

    I had an interview at the Jobcentre and was informed I am 'Gainfully Self-Employed'. This means that I should be earning a minimum of £1290 pcm from my self-employment, and that UC would no longer pay anything up to this amount, effectively wiping out my claim. I challenged this, and discovered there is no appeals process, however it was looked at again by a colleague of the person who did the first interview. It turned out that some of my comments were taking extremely out of context, and other information was blatantly invented. The person reviewing it however had no interest in this, and only wanted to discuss things that reinforced the previous decision. I left feeling angry and upset.

    Any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation or has particular experience or insight greatly appreciated!
    Originally posted by PoorPennilessMe


    Yes, there is an appeal process with almost any DWP decision and this is especially true of benefit entitlement decisions by staff.


    So you were wrongly advised. So request a mandatory reconsideration of that decision in writing (and supply evidence if eg they're basing the high earnings on incorrect figures to 'nil out' an UC payment the following month).


    But also complain in writing - you can do this by calling the national UC Contact centres by 'phone.


    I have helped several claimants with (and win) appeals and raise complaints. You may receive a consolatory payment from the DWP, but more importantly an apology and explanation for the maladministration.


    * maladministration includes delay, providing incorrect information, failing to reply to correspondence and so on.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
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