Taxpayer loses child benefit charge row in unusual circumstances

Published: 24th July 2023

Mr Meades (M) and his first wife had a child in 2012, but separated in July 2017 and divorced on 4 April 2019. During the 2019/20 tax year, M married his second wife, whom he lived with for the entire tax year. The divorced couple had received child benefit throughout – the amount being paid into M’s first wife’s account. HMRC assessed additional tax of £1,076 for Mr M in 2019/20, on the basis that the high income child benefit charge was due for the year. He appealed on the basis that he and his first wife were not partners per the legislation.

Unfortunately for M, he had made the original application in his name. Even though he had never received any of it and the child mainly lived with his ex-wife, the claim was still in his name. The appeal was dismissed.

The better thing to do would have been for M’s ex-wife to take over the claim. She could then continue to receive the payments with no charge on M.

taxpayer loses child benefit charge row in unusual circumstances
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