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Readers' forum: Whose child benefit?

06 October 2015
Issue: 4521 / Categories: Forum & Feedback

A taxpayer suffered a child benefit tax charge, but received no payment.

For the past few years our client has been a higher rate taxpayer. We asked whether he had received child benefit in 2013/14 and were advised not so we filed his return accordingly last year. We then received a letter from HMRC querying the child benefit situation. They believed that child benefit had been received and amended the return to recover this. On checking our client again advised that no benefit had been received so we suggested he call the child benefit office and check why HMRC would think that he had.

The child benefit office informed our client that child benefit had been claimed “in his name” but it has been paid to an ex-partner. In 2000 our client had a child with an ex-partner and at that time he claimed the benefit. However shortly after 2000 the couple split up. Our client...

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