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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Undisclosed Partners: Evidence in the Standard Intelligence Package

The Standard Intelligence Package (SIP) will have identified another adult at the customer’s address and the Claimant Compliance Risk Officer (CCRO) will have considered whether this is a family member. However, the presence of another adult at the customer’s address does not, in itself, mean they are living together as husband and wife (LTAHAW), living together as civil partners (LTACP) or Living Together as a Same Sex Couple (LTAASSC).

Note: The Marriage (same sex couples) Act 2013 extended marriage to same sex couples. See TCTM06100 for the definition of a couple.

Where the customer replies to your opening letter you will consider the evidence as shown in CCM15040. Where there is no reply you will need to review the information held in the SIP to decide whether you are in a position to make a decision or whether you need to make a formal request for the information. Each case must be carefully considered on its own merit but the following would normally be sufficient evidence on which to make a decision.

  • a. Both at the same previous address
    If the customer and the suspected partner were both previously at another address and are both now at a new address then, unless they are a recently separated couple (see CCM15390), in the absence of any other information, it is not unreasonable to conclude they are LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC. Not only are they at the same address but there is some stability in their arrangements. It would be unusual (but not impossible) for a lodger to move with their landlord.
  • b. Evidence of joint loans
    Whilst two independent people who share a property might apply for a joint loan for example for home improvements, this does point towards a degree of financial interdependence because they will each be liable to repay the debt if the other one defaults. In the absence of any other information, unless they are a recently separated couple, (see CCM15390), it is not unreasonable to conclude they are LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC. Not only are they at the same address but there is some element of financial interdependence and stability in their arrangements.
  • c. Youngest child has the same surname as the suspected partner
    In modern relationships many parents do not live together as a couple but it would be unusual for a couple to live at the same address with their child (or a child which has been given the suspected partner’s surname) and not be LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC. So unless they are a recently separated couple, (see CCM15390) it is not unreasonable to conclude they are LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC. Not only are they at the same address but they have a child which points to an element of stability.
  • d. Evidence of joint investments
    It would be unusual for two independent people to have joint investments such as a deposit account. In the absence of any other information, unless they are a recently separated couple, (see CCM15390), it is not unreasonable to conclude they are LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC. Not only are they at the same address but there is some element of financial interaction and stability in their arrangements.
  • e. Evidence of a joint claim to a DWP benefit or joint maintenance statement
    Evidence of a joint claim to a DWP benefit or a joint statement for CSA (or CEMA) purposes is not conclusive evidence on which to base a decision. It may be that the claim to the DWP benefit or the information provided regarding a maintenance claim is the false statement. However, if other evidence points to LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC then a joint claim to a DWP benefit or statement provided regarding maintenance can be taken into account. In the absence of any other information, unless they are a recently separated couple (see CCM15390), it is not unreasonable to conclude they are LTAHAW, LTACP or LTAASSC. Not only are they at the same address but there is some evidence of stability and they have represented themselves as part of a couple.
     

Although in would not be unreasonable to conclude LTAHAW, LTACP and LTAASSC in the five situations shown above, you must be confident the evidence is correct as you may be called upon to defend a decision before an appeal tribunal.