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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Penalty - Incorrect statements: Neglect: examples of circumstances to consider

Each case should be judged on its own merit, having established all of the claimant’s explanations and circumstances. It is impossible to provide a definitive list of the circumstances in which an incorrect claim will involve neglect, the following are some examples:

Example 1

The claimant showed child care costs of £85 per week. An enquiry established this was only paid during the school holidays. The claimant says the notes were confusing and she did not realise she had made an incorrect claim. This amounts to neglect as the claimant has not taken reasonable steps to submit a correct claim. If she found the notes confusing she should have obtained help from the Contact Centre or Enquiry Centre. The claimant had not told us the child care costs only applied to school holidays so could not reasonably have expected to receive the correct award.

Example 2

The claimant submitted a claim as a single person. The enquiry established she was still living with her husband. The claimant says she did not include her husband as he worked away from home, but still in the UK. This amounts to at least neglect. The claim form asks for details of the partner so by withholding information the claimant could not reasonably have expected to receive the correct award. The notes to the claim form say you are not treated as separated when one of you works away from home.

Example 3

The claimant claimed CTC for his son. An examination was opened because a claim for that child had already been made by the child’s mother although the father was unaware of this claim. Discussions established the child spent equal amounts of time with each parent and they shared responsibility for his education and welfare. A decision was made that the main care lay with the mother. Although the father was not entitled to the CTC it was not unreasonable for him to think he was entitled to the CTC so there is no neglect.