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Poll Question

Q. Have you recently become a single parent?

Single parents receive letters from HMRC requiring proof they live alone

Single parents receive letters from HMRC requiring proof they live alone

Thousands of single parents have been sent letters that some say are "threatening" telling them their benefit payments will stop unless they prove they're not living with a partner - then when they try to call, they're faced with long waits.

Many worried single parents who receive tax credits have taken to the net, including the forum, to express their concerns about the letters. The letters have been sent by a company called Concentrix, which works on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to carry out checks on tax credit claims. Letters give recipients 30 days to respond with the required information, such as bank statements, utility bills, solicitor and benefit entitlement letters. If people don't respond, the letter says their tax credits will stop.

One single parent stated: "I received a letter from a company called Concentrix on behalf of HMRC advising me that it has evidence that I have someone living with me and that I have until 26 February to prove this information is incorrect or my tax credits will be stopped." 

"I have lived on my own for six years with my children and have nothing to hide so providing this information is not a problem. I do however find it alarming and concerning that it has evidence of someone living with me or connected to me in some way."

Louise Boyle of HMRC says: "We know how important tax credits money is to you and that it can be worrying when we carry out these checks. We don't intend to worry you unnecessarily – what we're trying to do is to make sure you don't end up being overpaid tax credits, resulting in a debt which then has to be repaid later."

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