Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • MumToOne
    • By MumToOne 5th Jul 18, 7:35 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Child Tax Credits whilst separated but not yet divorced
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 18, 7:35 PM
    Child Tax Credits whilst separated but not yet divorced 5th Jul 18 at 7:35 PM
    Hi, I hope some of you can help me, please.

    I am divorcing my husband and our Nisi comes through next week. I can't apply for the final as we are still discussing our financial agreement.

    We own our home jointly. We have a 6 year old girl. As neither of us can afford to buy the other out we are still living togther until our house sells. We have separate bedrooms and live independent lives.

    As our Child Tax Credit is due for renewal should I be starting a claim on my own?

    Thanks, in anticipation.
Page 1
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jul 18, 8:25 PM
    • 2,271 Posts
    • 2,648 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:25 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:25 PM
    Have a look at this:

    "Married couples and Civil Partners

    Two people who are married or civil partners will always be classed as a couple for tax credits purposes unless:

    (a) they are separated under a court order; or

    (b) they are separated in circumstances in which the separation is likely to be permanent.

    The HMRC compliance manual states:

    From the date on which a couple marry they will be treated as a married couple for tax credit purposes even if they do not begin living in the same household. They might also have been living as an unmarried couple for tax credit purposes prior to this date.

    The first of the two exceptions is fairly straightforward. The second is much more problematic and more frequently used by HMRC when investigating a claim.

    The starting point if HMRC assert that a couple are separated in circumstances that are likely to be permanent is to ascertain from HMRC whether HMRC are suggesting that there is no separation at all (and therefore the question of whether it is likely to be permanent is irrelevant) or whether they agree there has been a separation but they believe it to be temporary in nature.

    The following parts of the HMRC manuals may be useful:

    Married couples
    Civil Partners
    Separated couples living at the same address
    HMRC suggest that their staff should consider the ‘living together’ criteria when determining whether a married couple/civil partners are separated in circumstances that are likely to be permanent. However, whilst this can be a useful aid, caution should be used as the living together test is different for married couples and civil partners to that for couples living together as if married to each other or civil partners of each other.

    There has been little case law on the issues relevant to married couples and civil partners. In CTC/1487/2013 involves a married couple who have separated and raises the importance of considering whether the separation is likely to become permanent and another leading case R(TC) 02/06 (CTC 1630/2005) which contained the following important passage:

    ‘Before concluding that a separation is unlikely to be permanent, the tribunal must consider why the separation has occurred and what indications there are that the couple may be reconciled and must conclude that there is at least a 50 per cent chance of a reconciliation. It is unlikely that such a reconciliation will occur before the parties have taken steps to deal with the problems that led to the separation in the first place, and have actually begun the process of arranging to live together again. A tribunal should be slow to differ from the claimant’s own genuine assessment of the likelihood of a reconciliation, although that is a subjective assessment and the tribunal is not bound by it.’"

    It sounds like - (b) they are separated in circumstances in which the separation is likely to be permanent. - would apply.

    It may be worth phoning the TC helpline, setting out the circumstances and getting their view.

    If they suggest a single claim is appropriate - be sure to make (and keep) a note of the date / time / person you spoke to / etc in case of any future dispute with HMRC. I would also confirm the advice given by letter, and keep a copy.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 5th Jul 18, 8:43 PM
    • 5,192 Posts
    • 3,389 Thanks
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:43 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:43 PM
    Based on what you've explained you'd be able to claim as a single person as you are separated in circumstances likely to be permanent. However is he likely to dispute responsibility and try to claim
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,062Posts Today

5,002Users online

Martin's Twitter