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Thread: High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

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  1. #1
    xs2man's Avatar

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    Default High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

    Hello,

    I am looking for some advice here on how to best handle this.

    So my wife applied for child benefit or whatever it is. And that was fine, my wage was below the threshold, so not an issue.

    Then, in the tax year ending 2014, I made a bit more, and crept into the sliding scale wage bracket, so incurred a charge of £654.

    The next 2 years I got bonuses that took me over the £60k threshold, so wasn't due any benefit, apparently. But they still paid me.

    I am paid PAYE BTW.

    So now, I get a bill through for £654 + £1066 + £1097.

    I do not dispute the charges. However, I have been working out of the country since 2011, and in fact, at the time of the campaign, I was employed in The Netherlands, and paying my taxes to them, so didn't even see the campaign. And it wasn't relevant to me at the time either. I have, however, since December 2013, been working back in the UK. And paid via PAYE ever since. To be fair, I highly doubt that I earned enough in 2013/2014 to be liable for any of these charges anyway, as I was only employed in the UK for 4 months.

    So I plan on appealing against the interest and penalty charges arising from late payment of charges I neither knew I was due, nor had any contact about until a couple weeks ago.

    I have written this letter:

    To whom it may concern,

    Today I received a letter dated 19-07-2017 in which it highlights Self Assessment Statements for the tax years 2013 – 2016. I am to be charged for High Income Child Today I received a letter dated 19-07-2017 in which it highlights Self Assessment Statements for the tax years 2013 – 2016. I am to be charged for High Income Child Benefit Charges for this period.
    Whilst I do not entirely disagree with the sums owed, although I doubt my 4 months of employment in the UK in the 2013/2014 period earned me enough of an income to satisfy the requirement that I earned over £50,000. I am happy to pay the tax for which I am due, and I do believe this to be due after spending the last few weeks, since my initial letter regarding this, researching these charges. However, I do disagree with the interest payments that have been applied, and any late payment charges that may yet to be presented to me with respect to these payments.
    I feel it is wholly inappropriate for these penalties to be levied against me.

    When these changes to child benefits were introduced, I have been informed that there was a media campaign in this country informing the public of these changes. I was not aware of this campaign, as at the time, I was employed in The Netherlands (From April 2011 if I recall correctly, to December 2013), and so was paid in Euros, and paid my taxes to the state there. So I was not aware of this campaign.
    I then moved my employment in December 2013 back to a UK company, whereby I was paid, and therefore taxed, using the PAYE system. Where I have remained ever since, and as such, have paid my taxes via PAYE, never via self assessment.

    As I wasn’t aware of the changes at the time of the campaign, and there was no indication that I would now be subject to these charges upon my return, by way of a letter for example, after the first year for which I was eligible for these charges, I feel it is unfair for HMRC to penalise me in this regard.
    As I was paid via PAYE, at the end of the tax year 2013/14, you had all my details, including my gross and net pay, and taxes. If, at this point, you had contacted me regarding these charges, I could have paid them at that time, and made arrangements for the following two years to not claim this benefit, for which it appears I was not entitled to.
    However, instead, you say nothing, and simply apply interest and charges without any indication of this happening. For a period of 3 years. I find this highly unsatisfactory, as this could have been resolved much earlier via a simple letter.
    So, in conclusion, I admit that I am liable for the amounts due through the assessments given. I feel there is unlikely to be much disparity here, as all my income is accounted for via PAYE, and as such, you know EXACTLTY what I earn, and what taxes I pay, at the same time as I do. I would, however, like to appeal against any interest and further penalty for late payment, as a result of your own failure to notify me sooner. While I do expect such notification to perhaps take a few months, I do not accept that over 3 years is an acceptable amount of time to make contact, all the while increasing costs via charging interest and late payment penalties, for a new system introduced, and advertised, whilst I was employed elsewhere in Europe, and didn’t even pay any taxation in this country. And to say that this campaign is enough warning (as expressed to me during a few calls I have recently made to HMRC), for someone not even around to see it, nor liable for taxation in this country, is quite frankly unacceptable.

    I do hope you consider this matter carefully during this appeal, as I see no reason for my appeal to not be upheld on the account of lack of contact from HMRC, over the previous years, regarding this situation.

    Yours sincerely
    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Ropey69's Avatar

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    Default Re: High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

    Hi xs2man

    Have you had any reply from HMRC on this? I have had similar correspondence and, whilst I was in the UK, I am not aware that I had any direct communication to tell me that I had to self assess.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    xs2man's Avatar

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    Default Re: High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

    Nothing yet other than a letter demanding the charge applied on top of the actual amount owed. No response to the appeal, as yet.

    I did call them the other day about it though, and they said the appeal letter was on it's way, but basically, not being in the country isn't a good enough reason not to know about the changes.

    I fear a letter to my MP is in order.

  4. #4
    Ropey69's Avatar

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    Default Re: High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

    Incredible response although I'm not surprised - typical government agency response.

    I fail to see how it is acceptable after this amount of time..... I fear my appeal will meet the same outcome

  5. #5
    xs2man's Avatar

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    Default Re: High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

    Thats what I thought. Incredible how being out of the country at the time of the campaign wasn't enough for not knowing about the change. And then taking 3 years to inform of the change, whilst applying charges for that 3 years. You would think that it wouldn't be too difficult to send a letter once someone breaches the threshold. Or, better yet, when they start paying taxes in this country.

    For the record, I am a UK citizen, born and bred. I just spent a couple years working in Europe. Before I left I wouldn't have broken any threshold, had there been one at that time, and when I returned, I obviously was breaking this threshold, that I never knew about, and no-one informed me about.

  6. #6
    msmit260's Avatar

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    Default Re: High Income Child Benefit Charge Appeal

    Hi
    I too have recently received HMRC letters for HICB and again similar to yourself have received high penalty charges with interest.
    I do not have an issue repaying the money however after settling my account for the last three years I now have fines and interest totally over £400.
    Did you receive a reply from the HMRC ??

    Thanks

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