Carer's allowance - compliance interview

Hi folks

I’ve just found myself in a situation. I’ve been booked for an interview with a compliance officer regarding benefits.
I’ve been looking after my young boy (11 yrs old) with Down’s Syndrome and been getting carer’s allowance. My husband is in full-time employment and earns over 60K per annum.
A few years back (5 or 6 years) we started selling on online (Amazon and ebay). After a couple of years, we registered a limited company. The company is now VAT registered. I did not realise that our accountant made me an employer of the company and paid ~£800 per month wages to me. This is all in books and I did not receive any money as such as this is our own company. I never left my home to attend/do a job and never realised that our accounts are showing that I am receiving £800 or so per month. The accountant has emailed my husband these wages every month but he did not take any notice either.
In summary, when we applied for carer’s allowance, I had no job (not even online business etc.). We then started gradually selling on amazon/ebay but the income was very irregular. However, over a few years, we did register our company.
When we spoke to our accountant that I should have not been getting more than £120 per week otherwise it impacts my carer’s allowance. He said that he could possibly update and re-submit my accounts again. But would it leave us even in a worse situation? Not sure how should I approach this. Any help would be great…Thanks…

It does seem that you have been receiving income. Whether you knew about it it not will not carry much weight. Indeed having a company has many responsibilities and managing its money is one of them, you cannot shift responsibility to an accountant . You say the wages were emailed to husband, but where was the money actually paid to, whos bank account? I assume the wages were paid through the PAYE system and that is why the situation has been found out as now the benefits system and HMRC system talk to each other

Your accountant may have ideas how to manage this in the future, but I don’t think you can backtrack.

Not a " Nice " situation to be in … especially with the DWP being on the warpath against family carers :

Carers Allowance has restrictions … one of which is the £ 120 weekily limit in earnings for this tax year ended 5 April 2018,

Next tax year £ 123 … in previous tax year , lower.

Has been so for decades.

Several threads on this forum over the years on ways to " Marshall " income to stay within the Earnings Limit.

I agree with Mrs. A … backtracking by your accountant ?

For both the TaxMan and the DoleMan ?

What would their conclusion be ?

hmmm…what are the repercussions? Do I need to pay back in full the overpayments from last years? Or is it just that it will stop going forwards?
Also salary is not paid through bank or online. It’s just shown as paid in cash and never received anything in bank or even as cash too

The DWP Purge thread … link posted … that’s as much as we know on this forum.

Does NOT make good reading ?

Reprocussions ?

Judge for yourself on the evidence contained therein.

Brief information on DWP Compliance interviews extracted from external sources.

The exchange in the House makes interesting reading ?


If a benefit has been paid incorrectly because of misinformation supplied by you, I would expect them to want it repaid.

I think you need to discuss this with your accountant before speaking to anyone else, on the face of it, it sounds fraudulent, it may be completely innocent, but that’s how it sounds to me.

Again , that DWP PURGE thread … really does make " Interesting " reading …and …
certainly provides some very strong hints as to which way the hurricane is blowing ???

As for external advice , it’s all in there … make of that what you will … it’s factual !

A ticking time bomb for decades.

Now exploded as only recently have the DoleMan and TaxMan exchanged information !

What’s potentially next ?

Direct Payments … then on to AA / PIP / DLA / SDP ?

Two major threads already on those !

If it was meant to be fraudulent or planned, why would I let my accouhtant make this mistake?
It’s purely a negligence in my and my husband but at the same time If it was flagged earlier by the system, it could have saved us from being in this position…

That , unfortunately , is for the " Judge " to decide … the DWP.

For any poster on this forum , I would consider any answer " Sub judice. "

Yep … flagged early … good point … it has taken decades for the DoleMan and TaxMan to " Talk " to each other.

As a taxpayer … question to ask … " How many £ BILLIONS may have been claimed fraudently , or paid out in error , in the past simply by the DWP and HM Revenue and Customs NOT sharing information any earlier ? "

Valid question … not many will ask it though ?

I spent 50 years self-employed until I retired, my first accountant way back in the 70s used to pull all sorts of stunts with my tax return - which had to be signed by me, so he was untouchable.

One simple thing for illustration, on my tax return I paid my wife a certain amount each month for secretarial duties - I didn’t, but the tax return said I did and I didn’t pay tax on that money. Sound familiar at all?

It is only recently that the 2 systems have been able to talk to each other. The onus has always been on the recipient of any benefit to declare fully and truthfully and to report any changes as and when they happen. It does seem you have been negligent and probably will have to repay, and maybe have a penalty too.
Business wise, if you haven’t been receiving the cash you need to find who has, as it has been leaving the business. I hope you are not being defrauded.

Going forward maybe your business earnings could be kept below the carers allowance limits but with a business big enough to be vat registered and to employ an accountant you might find there is enough coming in from the business to pay you better and not need to claim benefits anyway

One one fly in the oinment.

CA not means tested … same case for AA.

CA / AA sole benefit … other qualifying cretia met … it will be paid.

CA … income can be marshalled to stay within that £ 120 but … not hidden !

TaxMan / DoleMan … possible to satisfy one and fall foul of the other ?

My best guess … yes !
( DPs + AA / DLA / PIP / SDA threads cover that possibility. )