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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Particular aspects: work & hours - self-employed customers - making a decision

The aim of all the questioning/system interrogation/document request is to verify that what we are being told is correct. So in order to make a decision we must see at what point we can say reasonably that we think they are or not self employed.

In some cases if we are certain that the invoices sent in are fictitious i.e. they contain information that can not be verified, for example they state that work is being done at an address that doesn’t exist, then we can make the decision early that they are not entitled to WTC.

In other cases the invoices may suggest that the information contained is not credible, for example an electrician was working for £5 per hour, or a decorator was painting 5 rooms per hour, or a cleaner was working for 1 person for 30 hours per week. We would need further explanations form the customer.

Or the customer is claiming payments where there is no evidence that payments are being made. It is also important to check payments out for example, for materials, any invoices showing payments made can be seen as well.

Constantly as we question we would be looking at the proof we have before us to make the decision. For example, if the cleaner was working 30 hours for 1 person we would need to know the size of property. For a house 30 hours would not be credible.

It would be impossible to list the scenarios that may be encountered but at all times we should be asking are they in remunerative work and are the hours they claim to work credible. Is what we are being told credible and acceptable? When one of these is not present then we can decide there is no entitlement to WTC.

It would be easy to start to question the income and status of a person but this is not relevant to the tax credit decision so may cause unnecessary delay to making the decision.