Tax Credit Information Request
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  1. #1
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    Hi

    I’m just looking for a bit of advise. I’ve received a letter from Tax Credits about a child I care for. It is requesting information specifically about this this child- hours they are here, start dates, fees I charge for their care, but it also asks for information on who picks the child up and drops them off? I’m unsure about giving this information because of confidentiality.
    I rang Tax credits to confirm the letter is legit and raised my concerns about giving some of the information and was told that they do send these letters out, and the request for information on who picks the child up/ drops them off is to confirm who is responsible for the child. They also said if I don’t give this information it can slow down the investigation process for the Claimant 😩
    Has anyone else received one of these before? Should I get written permission from parent before sending the form off?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you

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    I had one of those letters recently and didn't understand why they asked the question about who collects the child. What if a grandparent or older sibling collects? Surely that's not relevant to a tax credits claim.

    For the child I look after it was either parent who collects so I put that on the form. I did tell parents I'd had the form to complete and told them it asked that question. Typically, a couple of weeks later they separated and I haven't seen dad since! Mum is now claiming benefits as a single parent and I do wonder if the fact I'd put both parents names on the form will make a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I had one of those letters recently and didn't understand why they asked the question about who collects the child. What if a grandparent or older sibling collects? Surely that's not relevant to a tax credits claim.

    For the child I look after it was either parent who collects so I put that on the form. I did tell parents I'd had the form to complete and told them it asked that question. Typically, a couple of weeks later they separated and I haven't seen dad since! Mum is now claiming benefits as a single parent and I do wonder if the fact I'd put both parents names on the form will make a difference.
    Thanks for your reply, I’ve ended up asking permission off the parent as I didn’t feel comfortable giving the information without and at least I’m covered! I’ve had parents ask for copies of invoices before because they were being checked, but never received a letter myself
    They told me that they ask that question to check who is responsible for the child, but like you said, what if grandma/ Auntie does a drop off, that doesn’t mean the claimant isn’t not responsible 🤔

    Thank you

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    One of the most common forms of benefits fraud is claiming as a lone parent when in fact the claimant isn't a lone parent at all.
    It is a legal document we occasionally fill in, and as such, we have to be fully compliant.
    Does it matter if a grandparent, friend, aunt, absent parent, or neighbour collects? No it doesn't, but, providing this information allows HMRC to check whether a parent is being truthful with their claim.
    A child being collected daily by both parents is not unusual in itself, but if an alleged 'absent parent' is collecting daily and or dropping off daily, it triggers alarm bells that a single person claim may not be truthful.
    It would then be down to the claimant to evidence the reasons for who collects and drops off - maybe they share custody via a court order, maybe a visitation order is in play, maybe friends or family collect because of parents working hours - all of which can be backed up
    If a parent has nothing to hide, why would it be an issue?

    Confidentiality only comes into play if it is the childminder being investigated/checked, and even then, whilst we have to maintain client confidentiality, we can back up our evidence using bank statements and copies of contracts with names blanked out (HMRC have confirmed this is allowed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddleywinks View Post
    A child being collected daily by both parents is not unusual in itself, but if an alleged 'absent parent' is collecting daily and or dropping off daily, it triggers alarm bells that a single person claim may not be truthful.
    That is what I assumed the question was for. It's typical that I filled in the form saying they both collected (which they did at the time), only for them to split up almost straight away after I'd sent the form back! Dad now lives and works in a different county so it's easy for them to provide evidence that they're no longer together. And if HMRC did come back to me I could confirm that dad no longer collects the child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddleywinks View Post
    One of the most common forms of benefits fraud is claiming as a lone parent when in fact the claimant isn't a lone parent at all.
    It is a legal document we occasionally fill in, and as such, we have to be fully compliant.
    Does it matter if a grandparent, friend, aunt, absent parent, or neighbour collects? No it doesn't, but, providing this information allows HMRC to check whether a parent is being truthful with their claim.
    A child being collected daily by both parents is not unusual in itself, but if an alleged 'absent parent' is collecting daily and or dropping off daily, it triggers alarm bells that a single person claim may not be truthful.
    It would then be down to the claimant to evidence the reasons for who collects and drops off - maybe they share custody via a court order, maybe a visitation order is in play, maybe friends or family collect because of parents working hours - all of which can be backed up
    If a parent has nothing to hide, why would it be an issue?

    Confidentiality only comes into play if it is the childminder being investigated/checked, and even then, whilst we have to maintain client confidentiality, we can back up our evidence using bank statements and copies of contracts with names blanked out (HMRC have confirmed this is allowed)
    Absolutely.

    Despite all the over-simplistic rubbish spouted by EY trainers, there is no absolute right to confidentiality. Every CM's confidentiality policy should make clear, that various state agencies (social services, police, Ofsted, HMRC, etc.) have the legal right to access information held by us.

    If the parent's claim is genuine, what harm will it do for HMRC to know who collects the child? They aren't planing to assassinate grandma or anything. In any case, she's under far more surveillance and invasion of privacy every time she goes to the shops.

    If the police or social services asked for data, would you stand there and refuse until they provided a full explanation? You're welcome to try, but you may find HMRC simply exercise their statutory rights of entry and removal, which by far exceed those of your average copper. If they deem you are being obstructive, they can walk into your home and walk away with every scrap of paper and electronic device relating to your business.

    I don't like it either, but there are some times you just let the Wookie win.

 

 

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