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bigduckontax, Accountant
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I have recently applied to the child maintenance service for

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I have recently applied to the child maintenance service for maintenance to be set. My ex husband has declared that he earns £22,000pa, approximately £8,000 is salary and the remainder is dividends. This is a man who runs a 5 bed house, 3 cars and takes several exotic holidays a year. Clearly he is only declaring some of his dividends! Can I appeal in this situation or do I need proof that he is swindling the tax office?!
Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer and pleased to be able to help you with your question. I would suggest that the way forward is to advise the Tax Credit Office (TCO) that you think that the data provided by your ex is incorrect, no more no less, and let them take the matter forward. Be careful though. If he has under declared his income then the tax credits awarded will be too high and the TCO might ask for some back at the end of the tax year when the credits are finalised or reduce next year's award to recover over payments. I do hope that I have shown you the way forward with your situation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My apologies, but I don't fully understand your answer.
As a single parent, earning approximately £6,500pa, and working 16 hours a week, I receive child and working tax credits. Are you suggesting that if I speak with the tax credit office they will investigate him? It was some time ago that I spoke with them and I do need to update them on how much the child maintenance service are suggesting he pays.( he was previously paying for 2 children, the eldest has now turned 18 and has full time employment)
How would they go about their investigation please? The child maintenance service said that the sum agreed is based upon the figures they have received from hmrc tax office and that I cannot appeal without proof that he is earning more
He has a long established architectural practice where he is the sole director
It is possible that HMRC have been mislead too. You should put your suspicions the that Department. Much of their collection knowledge is built up in this manner.
The TCO, never the brightest button in the HMRC box, is, as usual, behaving stupidly. To say they can do nothing when they are over paying benefits is just about par for the course.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think there is a misunderstanding being, apologies if I have not put my point across well or am still misunderstanding your reply.. I am the main carer in this situation, not my ex husband. I do not think he is claiming benefits/tax credits. I do think that he is keeping his salary lower to the tax office than it really is! When we were married he was earning around £50kpa which, by the time we w end to court in 2008 had reduced to £32k. His limited company is a well-respected, busy practice in town. At the time of our divorce he was quoting £80 as an hourly rate. Once I had received the letter from the child maintenance service I queried whether I could appeal as I believe that he is taking undeclared dividends and their rather sharp reply was that his declared 'other income' was specifically listed as dividends and therefore I could not appeal unless I had proof that he is cheating the tax office . The only proof that I have is his lifestyle
Just tell the tax office, don't bother with the TCO, they can stew in their own juice if they have made over payments and you can use their letter in support when they come back demanding repayments.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I spoke with hmrc, and raised my concerns, what will happen next? Are they duty-bound to investigate the claim? I have stood in a bank queue and heard other customers discussing how marvellous he is to do a deal for cash! So it may be that he is being honest about the dividends he is taking, just forgetting the cash he has taken!
Will they make 'quiet investigations' or will they come straight out and tell him I have queried his income?
I have the children to consider.
HNRC will not disclose their source of information. Whether that Department will chose to investigate is up to them. All you can do is tip them off as to the position.
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Thank you for your support.