HMRC 'does not accept' that I work more than 40s hrs per week? What can I do?

oliviaolivia12345 Forumite Posts: 80 Forumite
edited 31 December 2011 at 3:55PM in Benefits & tax credits
post deleted due to bullying from forum members.


  • lovetowinacar
    lovetowinacar Forumite Posts: 1,937
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 31 December 2011 at 1:30PM
    Hi there

    Sorry you have received this news at the start of a new year. It may be time to reassess your self employment since it doesn't produce enough income to actually sustain a living. We all dream of spending our time doing what we enjoy but sometimes we have to just work and earn at least a minimum wage to at least attempt to pay our way.

    I believe that more and more self employed people with very low incomes will receive letters similar to this since many are actually living off of benefits in the way of tax credits and so don't pay their way. In a eutopian society we would all do what we want and have no money worries however someone else has to pay for everyone who follows their dream in the chosen field of self employment - book writing, avon rounds, designer, web things... etc. We all need to try at least to support ourselves int he future which is only fair int he scheme of things.

    Now perhaps you could take on a part time job to supplement your design business? At the end of the day apart from pure enjoyment why would anyone wish to work 30 or 40 hours for such a small return which doesn't pay their way and expect the tax payer to pick up the tab for their life choice?
  • Oldernotwiser
    Oldernotwiser Posts: 37,425 Forumite
    Why would anyone work 40 + hours to earn £4/5K?
  • maginot
    maginot Forumite Posts: 484
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I would never advise anyone to not keep following their dream job.

    However I believe the rules are changing for SE, whereby you need to be earning at least minimum wage for hours worked.

    I'm not sure how you could appeal the decision unless you have proof of extra hours you have worked. Do you have evidence of phone calls when trying to secure business, can you show before and afters of websites and therefore give them an idea of the number of hours worked on to get to that standard etc.

    I agree with the other poster, that it may be a good time to use this setback to seek other work and continue your freelance outside of work hours. Once it is built up you can then start working full time again.
  • midnight_express
    midnight_express Forumite Posts: 1,272 Forumite
    They having a big crackdown on the "self employed" who are earning almost nothing and basically living on benefits.
  • prowla
    prowla Forumite Posts: 12,949
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Why would anyone work 40 + hours to earn £4/5K?
    I think that is the logic they may have used...
  • lovetowinacar
    lovetowinacar Forumite Posts: 1,937
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    So far, not very supportive and extremely judgemental answers. Thanks a lot. Can anyone offer me any actual help instead of judgement?

    Sorry that we are just being honest. HMRC are looking at people who are self employed with high hours and very low incomes who also claim benefits to actually pay their bills etc. Quite right too.

    Now helpful advice would be:

    1. Check you have given them accurate details of the hours you spend on your work.

    2. Look for some employment that will pay a wage so that you can support yourself rather than expecting everyone else to do it.

    3. Follow your dream with your self employment in the hours you are not earning a living and look at ways of increasing your business or charging a rate that you could actually live off of>

    Whether you choose to do this is up to you but the HMRC actually expect people to produce a minimum amount of money for the hours they say they are working so that in the future they can support themselves rather than the taxpayer picking up the tab for the life choices - you may not like this but it is reality - the money pot has dried up and people have to actually start paying for themselves (where able to ) int he future. That's life deal with it.
  • Sixer
    Sixer Forumite Posts: 1,087 Forumite
    OP: it is true HMRC are cracking down on non-viable or fraudulent claims for self-employed people on very low incomes who also claim WTC. Not saying you are either fraudulent or non-viable - without seeing your books or observing you, nobody here can.

    To persuade HMRC to change their decision, you need proof. Can you collate copies of quotes you have sent out and annotate them with time spent preparing? Copies of ads you have placed and time spent writing, organising them? A diary in which you note time spent and on what? (Every self-employed person should keep an accurate diary, for this very reason). Copies of work you have carried out and how long each job took?

    The only way you can overturn this decision is on an evidence-based scenario.
  • shegirl
    shegirl Forumite Posts: 10,107 Forumite
    It's really not worth spending that amount of time for such little money and I can see why they don't believe you work so much due to that.

    I think you're best taking employment and continuing your self employment outside of your working hours in the hope that it will build up a bit,at the very least it will supplement your income a little.
    If women are birds and freedom is flight are trapped women Dodos?
  • Sixer
    Sixer Forumite Posts: 1,087 Forumite
    PS: I agree with lovetowinacar that the best way to build a business without interference from the long cold arm of the state AND support yourself fully is to take on extra part-time work. It'll be crap - as I know myself from three years of working part-time in a convenience store while I built up my business - but it will mean that you're not constantly worrying whether or not HMRC will look at your profits and start an investigation. When Universal Credit is introduced in the next few years, there will be even more pressure on the low-income self-employed, via jobseeking conditionality or reduced benefits (the current proposal is you get a choice), so my advice is to start planning now.
  • thistledome
    thistledome Forumite Posts: 1,566 Forumite
    Sorry that we are just being honest. HMRC are looking at people who are self employed with high hours and very low incomes who also claim benefits to actually pay their bills etc. Quite right too.

    Not wishing to hijack OP, but have a question. What about SE people who don't claim any benefit? Am asking because OH is SE and doesn't earn much, but we don't claim anything from the state at all.

    I can't see that it's possible for OP to prove her hours worked, so seems to be a no-win situation for him/her. Jobs aren't as easy to come by as some replies on here suggest. Literally nothing available where I live apart from Care Assistants in old people's homes. Not work that everyone is suitable for (as shown by abuse old people are suffering in these places).
    Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don't harrass them, don't deprive them of their happiness.
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