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TaxRobin, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 17124
Experience:  International tax
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I recently made a mistake with my tax credits claims. I was

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I recently made a mistake with my tax credits claims. I was very late reporting that I had left the UK and only did so today. I left the UK on October 8th 2014 and did not report it. Today I called to report my mistake. To give more background at the start of the tax year I was employed and claimed working tax credits. In July I left my job and became self employed which led me out of the EU in October where I have been since. I previously resided in the UK and considered myself UK resident, I will also be filling out self assessment for the the tax year 14-15 so I thought I could continue claiming. However after checking in realised it was not possible as I was permanently outside the UK. I have also been workong part time outside the UK alongside the self employed work which I will file for self assessment in the UK which again makes me ineligible. When I realised my mistake I reported it today so I could repay what I owe. I believe it to be in the region of 1000 pounds. I had not received a letter from the TCO and submitted this information voluntarily to avoid future problems. I would like to know what are the chances that I will be prosecuted for this?
Hello and thank you for allowing me to assist you.
HMRC is responsible for investigating crime involving all of the taxes and other regimes it deals with. It is not responsible for criminal prosecutions. The decision whether to bring a criminal prosecution is made by an independent prosecuting authority.
You are not likely to have a problem from your disclosure because you are not evading taxation.
You voluntarily came forward and corrected the situation. That is not cause to for prosecution.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. So when you say the decision is made by an independent authority would that bet on the advice of HMRC with regards ***** ***** incorrect tax credits claim? Ie. Could HMRC refer me to that authority as I was negligent with my claim that resulted in my overpayment and could be classed as benefit fraud?

It is doubtful, as you came forward yourself as so as you understood your position.
HMRC could advise an authority but the correction was made and that was not fraud.
HMRC looks at the reasons why you underpaid or overclaimed on specific item, whether you told HMRC as soon as you could, and how helpful you’ve been in compliance corrections.
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