Over payment of Tax credits, partner abroad
Just an initial query as we may not have full facts of the case yet.
As I understand it the cl. was getting WTC and CTC as a single person. They went abroad and married a foreign national (not EEA national). The new spouse had considerable visa problems and was not allowed to come to the UK for many months. Spouse’s immigration status in that period is not known but it seems reasonable to think that they could not have had any R2R
Cl. did not notify HMRC of the marriage until some time later.
HMRC seem to be saying that the cl. has been overpaid both WTC and CTC from the date of the marriage (and,of course, that the O/P is recoverable).
CPAG seems to be saying that the Cl. could have had WTC as a couple regardless of the spouse’s immigration status but for the spouse to be part of the CTC claim they needed to be resident and present in the UK for at least three months prior to the claim and a have R2R as well (Regs 3 (5) &(6) of CTC ( residence) Regs 2003).
This leads me to think that although WTC was probably overpaid because cl. did not notify the marriage the CTC may not have been overpaid for any period before reg 3 applied as the spouse could not have been part of the claim anyway.
I would be grateful for any thoughts on this, as things stand the cl. is going to ask that HMRC don’t recover but if there is a hope that the amount of O/P can be challeged then they might wish to ask for an MR instead