Child Benefit Dispute :- We have live in the EU. for 8 years, travelling back & forth to the UK every two weeks as our work & clients tend to be located in the UK. We have & still continue to pay our taxes & NI. (class 4) contributions in the UK. Recently, HMRC. stopped the child benefit payments stating we were not eligable for it, even though HMRC. have been aware of our EU. address for the 8 years. They are demanding the overpayment to be paid back. They also state that they can not find any record of my wife's tax, or NI. contribution, payments even though they have her NI. number, which is correct! HMRC. recently confirmed in a letter my wife's contributions over previous years only one month prior to the Child Benefit department stating there is no record! As we pay NI. in UK. we believe we are entitled to the child benefit payments. Please advise. Thank you.
Hi.Are you British nationals? Can you explain your domestic circumstances please. Which EU country do you live in? You say you pay your taxes and NIC in the UK. Have you not registered to be tax resident in the EU country that you live in? Did you not apply to for non-UK resident status when you left the UK? What is the nature of your business? Is it a sole-trader business, a partnership or a limited company? You say you travel to the UK every two weeks? How long do you spend in the UK on each visit? Do the children live with you? What happens to them when you visit the UK? Do you have a home in the UK? Is the Child Benefit office asking for all eight years of benefit you have had to be repaid? TonyTax41077.5015455208
Thank you for your response requesting further details. We answer as follows :-We are both British nationals. We are married with two children under 16 years living in Spain. We are not registered to pay tax in Spain as our business is nearly 100% in the UK & we are registered for VAT. etc. in the UK. We did not apply for non-resident status when we left the UK. We are design & architectural consultants operating as sole traders, but have previously been a partnership. I normally visit the UK for 2-3 days every two weeks & my wife tends to control the office & look after the childeren. Our children live with us. Yes, the Child Benefit Office is asking for all eight years of benefit to be repaid. However, as stated previously, the Child Benefit Office has said they have no record of my wife's tax, or NI, payment, even though HMRC. have confirmed these payments have been made, which we requested due to a middle name initial mistake in their taxation self-accessment statements to my wife. Last year they stopped the child benefit payments & could not find my wife's payments, but started paying benefits immediately they were given my NI. number even though they were fully aware we lived abroad. A few months later it stopped again. We look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks.Leave this with me and I'll get back to you later today.
Thank you. We wait to hear from you later today.
Hi again.The conventional way of doing things would be to gain non-UK resident status and to pay tax and NIC in Spain. You don't normally have a choice as to which country you pay tax in. It's based on your tax residence status and from what you have told me, you are resident in Spain. Your UK record of NI contributions would be used to determine your right to child benefit in Spain and any shortfall compared to what you were receiving in the UK would be paid by the UK. European Economic Area citizens (non UK nationals) working and living in the UK can claim child benefit for their children even if the children are living in their home country. You are working, though not living, in the UK so there is a slight difference.In order to qualify for child benefit, you usually need to live in the UK and be "ordinarily resident" in the UK. It's arguable whether you are ordinarily resident in the UK. Having a home in the UK would help. Take a look here, here and here for the meaning of ordinary residence and other relevant information. The fact that you have continued to pay tax and NIC as if you were resident in the UK muddies the waters, so to speak. Were you doing things the conventional way and paying tax and NIC in Spain, you would not be entitled to claim child benefit in the UK. Instead, you would claim the equivalent benefit in that country. Since you have continued to pay UK tax and NIC, I would you say that you should be able to continue to claim child benefit in the UK. However, the UK authorities may insist that you register to pay tax and NIC in Spain and make your claim there. If that happens, you may have to pay back some or all of the child benefit paid you since you left the UK. It is then a matter of arguing over whether you informed the UK child benefit office that you were leaving the UK and it may not be enough to say that HMRC were aware. It's always better to take positive action in these matters.You should look at the notes here, here, here, and here. If the child benefit office won't move once you have put them straight on your wife's NI situation, then you can ask for a second review and. following that, you can complain about your treatment (the messing about over your wife's NI being a good reason) or appeal the decision. You can read about doing either here. Yours is not a normal case and it may be that the matter has to be decided by an independent adjudicator.Let me know if you have any further queries.
Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
Tony, Thank you for the informative response, which we appreciate. We will continue to contest the decision by the Child Benefit Agency & may com back to you for further advice.
Thanks for accepting my answer. Good luck in your fight with the CBA.