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  • FIRST POST
    • brednall
    • By brednall 23rd Oct 19, 9:59 AM
    • 569Posts
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    brednall
    Higher Earner Child Benefit Charge
    • #1
    • 23rd Oct 19, 9:59 AM
    Higher Earner Child Benefit Charge 23rd Oct 19 at 9:59 AM
    Hi all.

    My husband received a letter yesterday from HMRC concerning the Higher Earner Child Benefit Charge.

    Until he opened this letter, we knew about this charge at all. We first claimed child benefit in 2010 and added to it when our son was born in 2011. Back then, my husbands wages were not at the £50k threshold and have only reached this in the last 2 years or so.

    We have had no communication on anything like this. The actual payments go into my bank, not my husbands but still no communication.

    Has anyone had any experience on dealing with this? He is going to call them today to discuss.

    Thanks
    Baby daughter born Jan 10

    Baby son born June 11
Page 2
    • WagonWheeler
    • By WagonWheeler 13th Nov 19, 2:22 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    WagonWheeler
    Dose anyone know what the penalty is? or what would happen if you ignore the letter?

    Totally not sure what they're asking me to do.
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 13th Nov 19, 2:26 PM
    • 6,721 Posts
    • 4,593 Thanks
    csgohan4
    Dose anyone know what the penalty is? or what would happen if you ignore the letter?

    Totally not sure what they're asking me to do.
    Originally posted by WagonWheeler
    Create your own thread in order not to confuse your problem with the OP.

    Need more information from your 2 paragraphs

    Suggesting contacting the authorities on the top of the letter perhaps?
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 13th Nov 19, 2:27 PM
    • 5,555 Posts
    • 5,567 Thanks
    BoGoF
    Dose anyone know what the penalty is? or what would happen if you ignore the letter?

    Totally not sure what they're asking me to do.
    Originally posted by WagonWheeler
    Do not ignore it - it will be an expensive mistake.
    • Val111
    • By Val111 13th Nov 19, 6:57 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Val111
    My husband has also received this letter two days ago and like yourself we have never heard of this our children were born in 2001 & 2005 and the only correspondent we have received rehashing child benefit was when they wrote to tell me I would no longer receive a payment for my oldest child who had left high school to go to college. Unfortunately for us his earning were over the 60K which means we could potentially owe a substantial sum. Through these six years I was not working but in full time study and upon further research after this letter my understanding is 2 parent cities earn 49K each so household income of 98K and still get child benefit??? Doesnít seem right!!!
    Why were people not informed of this charge by child benefit system or HMRC 6 years ago when it was apparently enforced?? HMRC know how much my husband earns as they take great pleasure in sending him a letter yearly stating how they are spending his tax (which again is a substantial amount taken from his pay) I think this despicable, like you said the letter is poorly written and to a degree threatening. Why would he file a tax return when heís employed and pays tax through PAYE?? I wonít be letting this go without a fight, lovely present right in time for Christmas!!!!!!!!!
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 13th Nov 19, 7:00 PM
    • 5,555 Posts
    • 5,567 Thanks
    BoGoF
    My husband has also received this letter two days ago and like yourself we have never heard of this our children were born in 2001 & 2005 and the only correspondent we have received rehashing child benefit was when they wrote to tell me I would no longer receive a payment for my oldest child who had left high school to go to college. Unfortunately for us his earning were over the 60K which means we could potentially owe a substantial sum. Through these six years I was not working but in full time study and upon further research after this letter my understanding is 2 parent cities earn 49K each so household income of 98K and still get child benefit??? Doesnít seem right!!!
    Why were people not informed of this charge by child benefit system or HMRC 6 years ago when it was apparently enforced?? HMRC know how much my husband earns as they take great pleasure in sending him a letter yearly stating how they are spending his tax (which again is a substantial amount taken from his pay) I think this despicable, like you said the letter is poorly written and to a degree threatening. Why would he file a tax return when heís employed and pays tax through PAYE?? I wonít be letting this go without a fight, lovely present right in time for Christmas!!!!!!!!!
    Originally posted by Val111
    What exactly are you going to fight?

    Bottom line is your family received money they weren't entitled to and any overpaid child benefit will need to be paid back.
    • Val111
    • By Val111 13th Nov 19, 7:13 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Val111
    Received money which in 2001 and 2005 when our children were born everyone was entitled too. Had we been informed when this was introduced in 2013 then we would not have claimed it. So for HMRC to take 6 year to contact people is not right, those receiving it should have been made aware of changes by correspondence in 2013.
    If you canít give constructive feedback donít comment.
    Last edited by Val111; 13-11-2019 at 7:17 PM.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 13th Nov 19, 7:22 PM
    • 7,153 Posts
    • 5,418 Thanks
    sheramber
    The Child Benefit Office is a totally separate department from HMRC with separate computers . Until recently HMRC had no access to the information held by CBO so had no knowledge of who was getting paid child benefit.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 13th Nov 19, 7:44 PM
    • 12,362 Posts
    • 24,661 Thanks
    Pennywise
    The Child Benefit Office is a totally separate department from HMRC with separate computers . Until recently HMRC had no access to the information held by CBO so had no knowledge of who was getting paid child benefit.
    Originally posted by sheramber
    To add to that, child benefit is usually paid to the lower earner (under £50k) but is repayable by the higher earner (over £50k). Neither the child benefit nor HMRC systems would automatically link the parents as we no longer have "joint taxation" - for tax purposes, couples aren't linked in the income tax database so it's not information that HMRC would readily have.
    • Lisame
    • By Lisame 14th Nov 19, 12:43 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lisame
    I have received exactly the same today and we too guest received child benefit when our daughter was born in 2010 and had no idea about this. I can't believe we were not informed sooner and am really worried we will have to pay back alot of money. Would be grateful for any info you have found helpful. Feel it is really unfair and should have been aware of this in 2013 or as soon as earnings hit that level. Thanks
    • Lisame
    • By Lisame 14th Nov 19, 12:57 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lisame
    So unfair when you are totally unaware of something. As you said if we had been notified of this in 2013 I would have been more that happy for child benefit payments to stop. How can you act on something you are completely unaware of! We have had a letter today!
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 14th Nov 19, 1:04 PM
    • 12,362 Posts
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    Pennywise
    How can you act on something you are completely unaware of! We have had a letter today!
    Originally posted by Lisame
    To be fair, it was all over the news when it was first announced. On TV & radio news, in the newspapers, all over social media - it was the headlines for a few days.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 14th Nov 19, 7:40 PM
    • 7,153 Posts
    • 5,418 Thanks
    sheramber
    So unfair when you are totally unaware of something. As you said if we had been notified of this in 2013 I would have been more that happy for child benefit payments to stop. How can you act on something you are completely unaware of! We have had a letter today!
    Originally posted by Lisame

    Are you aware of the speed limit applied to different roads?

    Are you aware that a car may need an MOT?

    Did anyone send you a letter telling you these things?
    • brednall
    • By brednall 14th Nov 19, 8:04 PM
    • 569 Posts
    • 3,029 Thanks
    brednall
    To be honest, back in 2013 my husband was not earning 50k. It's only gone over tgat in the last 2 tax years so back then, we probably would have thought tgat didn't apply to us.

    He contacted HMRC straight away and they said as long as he informs them of progress with tax returns etc, that is fine. He had to wait for confirmation of pay from his HR department and now we have to wait for a gateway code to compete his online return.
    Baby daughter born Jan 10

    Baby son born June 11
    • brednall
    • By brednall 14th Nov 19, 8:05 PM
    • 569 Posts
    • 3,029 Thanks
    brednall
    Are you aware of the speed limit applied to different roads?

    Are you aware that a car may need an MOT?

    Did anyone send you a letter telling you these things?
    Originally posted by sheramber
    A little harsh on the comments here I think
    Baby daughter born Jan 10

    Baby son born June 11
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 14th Nov 19, 8:45 PM
    • 14,212 Posts
    • 11,380 Thanks
    unholyangel
    To be honest, back in 2013 my husband was not earning 50k. It's only gone over tgat in the last 2 tax years so back then, we probably would have thought tgat didn't apply to us.

    He contacted HMRC straight away and they said as long as he informs them of progress with tax returns etc, that is fine. He had to wait for confirmation of pay from his HR department and now we have to wait for a gateway code to compete his online return.
    Originally posted by brednall
    I would always advise anyone receiving these types of letter to be as honest and forthcoming as they can. Typically they already know (or have reasonable suspicion) about it, its not a letter they send randomly. Cooperate and be honest and they're more likely to see it as an honest mistake and waive any penalties.

    Also, fwiw....I don't see anything wrong with sherambers comment. I think they were just highlighting that its never usually seen as a defence to not comply with the law because you weren't aware of what it is. Sometimes its easy to misconstrue intentions in the written word as you can't see their facial expressions or hear the infliction or their tone!
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Val111
    • By Val111 14th Nov 19, 11:27 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Val111
    Are you serious, everything you have described above was always in place, so not really a serious argument??
    • Val111
    • By Val111 14th Nov 19, 11:36 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Val111
    Sorry this was directed to the comments regarding car tax, mot etc, like ppl are consistently saying had we been informed would you have Claimed to received it??? Of course not!!! Once again how can it take HMRC 6 years to send a letter and say, oh guess what you’ve been claiming something you were not entitled too, despite the fact that you actually weren’t working but your husband was supporting the whole household, but never mind had yous both been earning £49K each then that would be okay, seriously??? Check the news articles ppl, we have following receiving this letter earlier this week, ppl are holding HMRC to task and are coming out triumphant ��
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 15th Nov 19, 8:08 AM
    • 12,362 Posts
    • 24,661 Thanks
    Pennywise
    Sorry this was directed to the comments regarding car tax, mot etc, like ppl are consistently saying had we been informed would you have Claimed to received it??? Of course not!!! Once again how can it take HMRC 6 years to send a letter and say, oh guess what you’ve been claiming something you were not entitled too, despite the fact that you actually weren’t working but your husband was supporting the whole household, but never mind had yous both been earning £49K each then that would be okay, seriously??? Check the news articles ppl, we have following receiving this letter earlier this week, ppl are holding HMRC to task and are coming out triumphant ��
    Originally posted by Val111
    Yes, it's all been a fiasco - that started with the Libdems announcing it as a "back of the fag packet" idea at their annual conference, so it was brought in without the proper due diligence, hence the perceived unfairness. (A warning as to how things may be if Libdems got any kind of power again!).

    BUT, if anything, that caused even more media coverage due to the outrage re the 2 versus 1 income anomaly - it was on the news, included in documentaries, mentioned in day time TV shows, Loose Women, Lorraine, etc etc.

    And why do you refer to "6 years ago" when you yourself said your OH only started earning over £50k just 2 years ago. In your case, HMRC have actually been pretty quick to highlight to you the problem if he's only been liable to repay the CB for the last 2 years - that's well within reasonable time limits.

    As for notifications etc. Did the govt write to every smoker to tell them they couldn't smoke in shops, offices, pubs anymore? Did they write to every driver when seatbelts became compulsory or to tell them how to use Smart motorways? No -there is a responsibility on the individual to keep themselves aware of changes in society - it's all over the media and of course, we all have mini computers in our pockets with access to the kinds of news/information that previous generations couldn't even have dreamt of.
    Last edited by Pennywise; 15-11-2019 at 8:11 AM.
    • cloud_dog
    • By cloud_dog 15th Nov 19, 10:47 AM
    • 4,646 Posts
    • 2,924 Thanks
    cloud_dog
    Yes, it's all been a fiasco - that started with the Libdems announcing it as a "back of the fag packet" idea at their annual conference, so it was brought in without the proper due diligence, hence the perceived unfairness. (A warning as to how things may be if Libdems got any kind of power again!).
    Originally posted by Pennywise
    Let's be clear, this was a Tory cluster ****.
    Personal Responsibility - Sad but True

    Sometimes.... I am like a dog with a bone
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 15th Nov 19, 4:49 PM
    • 31,704 Posts
    • 19,664 Thanks
    xylophone
    I had no vested interest (not being a CB recipient) but I wrote to my MP in 2013 concerning the unfairness of the anomaly to which reference is made above - it is difficult to know how anybody missed the news concerning the matter as it caused such heated discussion in papers and on TV at the time.

    See link in post 25 here for a recent briefing paper https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=76488903#post76488903
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