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    • Former MSE Paloma
    • By Former MSE Paloma 13th Feb 15, 10:14 AM
    • 526Posts
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    Former MSE Paloma
    MSE News: Single parents sent 'threatening' letters demanding proof they live alone
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:14 AM
    MSE News: Single parents sent 'threatening' letters demanding proof they live alone 13th Feb 15 at 10:14 AM
    Single parents have been sent letters from Concentrix regarding tax credits that some recipients say are "threatening" and "upsetting" ...

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    Single parents sent 'threatening' letters demanding proof they live alone




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Page 1
    • chanz4
    • By chanz4 13th Feb 15, 10:41 AM
    • 10,018 Posts
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    chanz4
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:41 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:41 AM
    Isnt what they doing against the law, and if they are making false representation saying they have evidence that someone is living with a single parent liable if they don't.
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
    • jobdone1
    • By jobdone1 13th Feb 15, 10:46 AM
    • 719 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    jobdone1
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:46 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:46 AM
    I agree this is shocking behavior. Shame hmrc don't have a similar approach to HSBC and its tax evaders
    • dori2o
    • By dori2o 13th Feb 15, 10:54 AM
    • 7,811 Posts
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    dori2o
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:54 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:54 AM
    HMRC are damned if they do and damned if they dont.

    These forums have been full of stories and hatred of benefits claimants comitting fraud and claiming benefits which they are not due. People have been demanding that more is done to 'weed out' these fraudsters, well guess what, more is being done, but it's being done through a private sector company, who in the majority of cases are useless when it comes to working on Public Sector projects.

    The Public Sector no longer has the manpower to perform these checks due to staff cuts. Something else many people were happy about when they were announced. The cries of joy at the culling of the 'bloated' public sector now seem to be cry's of sadness as the private sector company fails to get its systems in order.

    IN order to investigate people with potential fraudulent claims it is inevitable that some genuine claimants will have to prove their innocence and show that their claims are genuine. That is unavoidable.

    It's a very good reason why people should check that their credit reports are up to date and show the correct data, including data on any financial links between people. This is the single biggest cause of people being checked regarding their living arrangements. If you are single but have a joint financial comittment, possibly from a prior relationship/marriage, then if this link is still present on the credit reference agencies files this could be interpreted as a potential case of someone making a false single persons claim, or possible failing to notify of a change in circumstances.

    The working hours checkswill partly be dwn to the self employed checks currently ongoing. Again their has been uproar on this forum about people who claim to work 30 hrs per week self employed but who make very little profit/always make a loss.

    Also, now that HMRC have a live link to weekly/monythly PAYE records it's easier to identify those who claim to be employed and working more than 30 hours, but whose weekly/monthly pay doesn't equal NMW x 30hrs p/w.

    As I've said you cannot have a large section of society make demands that peoples welfare claims are checked to ensure that everything is above board, and then complain when they do just that and people are 'put out' by being expected to verify their claims.
    To equate judgement and wisdom with occupation is at best . . . insulting.
    • dori2o
    • By dori2o 13th Feb 15, 10:57 AM
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    dori2o
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:57 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:57 AM
    Isnt what they doing against the law, and if they are making false representation saying they have evidence that someone is living with a single parent liable if they don't.
    Originally posted by chanz4
    Who says they don't have the evidence? It comes from various sources including the Credit Reference Agencies.

    If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

    This action has been brought on by the viscous attack of those people on welfare, in many cases attacked by people who themselves claim tax credits which is a type of welfare payment, but not seen that way by many.

    You cannot expect there to be a surge in the number of checks being made without some genuine claimants being selected for these checks.
    To equate judgement and wisdom with occupation is at best . . . insulting.
    • dori2o
    • By dori2o 13th Feb 15, 10:59 AM
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    dori2o
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:59 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 15, 10:59 AM
    I agree this is shocking behavior. Shame hmrc don't have a similar approach to HSBC and its tax evaders
    Originally posted by jobdone1
    The problem is that currently there is no evidence that it is tax evasion, it's being described as tax AVOIDANCE, which currently is LEGAL, not illegal.
    To equate judgement and wisdom with occupation is at best . . . insulting.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 13th Feb 15, 11:17 AM
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    Pincher
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 15, 11:17 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 15, 11:17 AM
    Once in a while, I get letters addressed to names totally unknown to me. Some of them look like credit card and even bank statements. Obviously I Return To Sender, but there is an American Express thing that will never stop. I have called American Express many times, but they refuse to do anything without speaking to the account holder.

    All they (HMRC etc.) have to do is look at addresses of people with credit card or bank account address that is the same as mine, and say they are living with me.

    There is another one which is interesting. You can get a discount on your council tax if you live alone. Do they try to catch widows with gentleman visitors, I wonder. I would use traffic wardens to record car registrations. If someone parks outside your house a lot, send in the inspectors. Don't forget, you could be gay.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 13th Feb 15, 11:22 AM
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    michaels
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 15, 11:22 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 15, 11:22 AM
    As citizens of the UK we are lucky to be eligible for a range of social security payments, paid for by those who are lucky enough not to need such payments and to be earning enough to be able to spare some of their income to help those less fortunate. To ensure that such payments are affordable and make sure that those who pay feel they are not being taken advantage of it is only reasonable that the payments are only made to those who are entitled to them. Thus those in receipt of such payments should not be surprised that they should need to demonstrate their entitlement - otherwise what is to stop those who are not entitled from claiming?

    Having said all that, threateing those with limited means with a removal of income they need to live on and then not having the systems in place to actually respond when they try to find out how to send the evidence confirming their entitlement is completely unreasonable.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • BoJangles
    • By BoJangles 13th Feb 15, 11:24 AM
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    BoJangles
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 15, 11:24 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 15, 11:24 AM
    I think it is only right that these things should be checked on and have no quarms with people being given a set time to do it in. The only problem I see here is with the systems that aren't allowing the process to be a smooth one.
    • Londonsu
    • By Londonsu 13th Feb 15, 11:56 AM
    • 1,327 Posts
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    Londonsu
    Even my 84 year old Dad who worked for 70 years, paid tax for 70 years and NI for 51 years had to prove that he was entitled to pension credit, housing benefit and council tax relief by showing bank statements etc




    So sorry, if someone his age and who has paid in for as long as he has has to show entitlement to public money why should everyone else think they are exempt or complain about having to do so
    Last edited by Londonsu; 13-02-2015 at 11:59 AM.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 13th Feb 15, 12:07 PM
    • 6,883 Posts
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    p00hsticks
    If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.
    Originally posted by dori2o
    If the article is quoting correctly, it says that you risk losing your benefits unless you can prove that you are living alone.

    but how on earth are you expected to do that ? You could show that all the utility bills etc are in your name, but that doesn't necessarily prove that anyone else is not living there.

    The only possible way I can think of it to show a council tax bill indicating that you get a single person discount - but then, if you are lying To HMRC about being single for tax credits, you're probably lying to the council as well.
    • tomtontom
    • By tomtontom 13th Feb 15, 12:18 PM
    • 7,185 Posts
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    tomtontom
    It would be helpful to see the full text of this letter, so people can see what it actually says and not a few vague quotes.
    • byjimini
    • By byjimini 13th Feb 15, 12:24 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    byjimini
    Meanwhile a seemingly endless list of tax evaders are left untouched. Good to see that HMRC have their priorities intact.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 13th Feb 15, 1:34 PM
    • 4,337 Posts
    • 6,917 Thanks
    bouicca21
    Given that separated couples paying spousal maintenance find it extremely difficult to convince the courts that the ex is cohabiting (one of the triggers for ending spousal maintenance), are we looking at a double standard here? One for benefits and a completely different one for the family courts?

    And just how does one prove one is living alone?
    • chanz4
    • By chanz4 13th Feb 15, 2:33 PM
    • 10,018 Posts
    • 2,981 Thanks
    chanz4
    Its great they are doing it, but say the likes of Wonga did the same there would be uproar on here like their was.


    Also are they going to be able to cope processing the data in 30 days...
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
    • OnanTheBarbarian
    • By OnanTheBarbarian 13th Feb 15, 3:39 PM
    • 1,420 Posts
    • 866 Thanks
    OnanTheBarbarian
    Some of the articles on here are as over hyped as the Daily Hate Mail.

    If you get benefits and tax credits, then fair enough if you get asked to prove you are entitled to them.

    What's the problem with that?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 13th Feb 15, 3:47 PM
    • 12,334 Posts
    • 14,144 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Some of the articles on here are as over hyped as the Daily Hate Mail.

    If you get benefits and tax credits, then fair enough if you get asked to prove you are entitled to them.

    What's the problem with that?
    Originally posted by OnanTheBarbarian
    I think one of the problems is that some of these letters are naming the person who is alleged to be living there is named.

    "We are reviewing the inclusion of potential partners' names in letters as we understand this could be insensitive in some cases Ė we apologise for any distress this might have caused."
    • marleyboy
    • By marleyboy 13th Feb 15, 3:51 PM
    • 14,803 Posts
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    marleyboy
    Is it possible to PROVE you live alone? You could open the doors, invite them to count the toothbrushes and clothing that shows you live alone, but that is not proof in itself.

    Surely once someone declares they live alone, it would be upto the Govt to do the easy bit and prove this is not the case, were that to be so.

    Imagine the difficulty in proving you were unemployed and not working on the side for cash in hand.
    1+1+1=1
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    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 13th Feb 15, 6:06 PM
    • 17,141 Posts
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    FBaby
    but how on earth are you expected to do that ? You could show that all the utility bills etc are in your name, but that doesn't necessarily prove that anyone else is not living there.
    It would appear that they do list the things they want as evidence, mainly bank accounts.

    Meanwhile a seemingly endless list of tax evaders are left untouched. Good to see that HMRC have their priorities intact.
    You've clearly missed all the recent advertising about hmrc doing checks on potential tax evaders then.
    • Teresa60
    • By Teresa60 13th Feb 15, 7:02 PM
    • 615 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    Teresa60
    I had the same letter before Xmas, my husband had left and moved to Malaysia. They say he is still living with me! They have asked for evidence. I have removed him from the council tax and electoral roll. He is staying with a friend he pays a bit of rent to, he gets cash in hand for a job (a temporary one). I have sent them a copy of the address where he lives. But this was still not enough for them, they want his utility bills, driving licence, bank statements. How can I ask this of someone who walked out on us? Why should I? I am struggling to pay the household bills, and really need my tax credits back to top up my low income. So I am awaiting their final decision, if it comes back as a refusal again they say I can take it to Tribunal?
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