Debbie Balandis says her child tax credits have been stopped because her bank account showed a ‘Martin McColl’ – the newsagents where she collects her benefits
A single mum has had her benefits stopped because the taxman believe she is in a relationship – with her local SHOP.
Debbie Balandis, 40, was shocked to receive a letter from HMRC saying her £140-a-week child tax credits would be stopped because she had a new man, the Daily Record reports .She immediately called the tax office and was told activity on her bank account showed a Martin McColl – the trading name for her local newsagent chain RS McColl.
The mum-of-two, from Glagow, tried to explain that she collects benefits from the post office at her local RS McColl and that was why the name appeared on her bank statements. But she was told her weekly payments were being stopped until she can prove Martin McColl isn’t her live-in lover.
Debbie, who relies on tax credit to look after her 13-year-old son, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the letter to say my payments were being stopped so I called them up to see what the mix-up had been.
“I expected it to be sorted over the phone but instead I was told they knew I had a new partner.
“Shocked, I asked them who that was – because I’ve not been in a relationship for 10 years. The call handler said they had looked through my benefit payments and asked me who Mr McColl was? At first I was surprised – I’d never heard of anyone with that name – but suddenly I realised it was the name of the shop where I was withdrawing my money. I begged HMRC not to leave me without a penny all because of a fictitious boyfriend.
“But they didn’t believe me and have now stopped my benefits for supposedly having an affair with the post office.”