Back dating checks
This guide has been written to help advisers understand the legal position as well as how to effectively challenge a negative decision.
(a) jointly by the members of a couple both of whom are aged at least sixteen and are in the United Kingdom, or (b) by a person who is aged at least sixteen and is in the United Kingdom but is not entitled to make a claim under paragraph (a) (jointly with another).
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A claim for tax credits must either be made jointly by a couple (a joint claim) or by an individual (a single claim).
It is often not clear cut whether someone is part of a couple or not, however it can have serious implications for tax credits.
Given that this is not a straightforward area, HMRC may not have made the right decision particularly where they rely on third party evidence such as from credit reference agencies.
They are to be treated as a married couple unless the evidence shows they are separated and it is likely to be permanent.
There are many reasons why people make incorrect claims.Obviously some do so fraudulently, but others are the result of claimants making a genuine mistake (e.g.if their partner is subject to immigration control) or their relationship is such that they genuinely think that they should claim as a single person.The HMRC compliance manual contains several sections that contain information which may be useful for advisers: Undisclosed partner investigations HMRC have several different powers that allow them to carry out investigations into claims.Two of the most common are those under Section 16 Tax Credits Act (checks) and Section 19 Tax Credit Acts (enquiries).
The following parts of the HMRC manuals may be useful: 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.