The council and Paypal (council tax/ housing benefit) - HotUKDeals
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The council and Paypal (council tax/ housing benefit)

TanyaSpace Avatar
8y, 10m agoPosted 8 years, 10 months ago
A friend of mine had to claim housing benefits a few months ago cuz his wife lost her job.
They got paid what they were supposed to get until mid of january 08 when the council decided to review their claim. They saw that he has some paypal transactions on his
bank statements and asked him for paypal statements for the last 2 months.
Does the council have a right to do this? (he sells unwanted things on ebay from time to time, privately, not commercially) It can´t really count as income, can it?

Thanks for comments/help in advance ;-)

Tanya
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TanyaSpace Avatar
8y, 10m agoPosted 8 years, 10 months ago
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#1
I guess in a way it could be declared as income which the council should know about - and if it really is just from time to time shouldn't be anything to worry about.


BUT I'm really not the best person to ask.
#2
That´s what I thought too. As it´s not a regular income.
And if he sold the stuff in a local paper they wouldn´t even know about things like that.
Thanks for the answer anyway :D

Maybe someone else knows a little more?
#3
i think as it is a means tested benifit they can ask to see them cause it is a form of income, if its not a great deal it won't be a problem
#4
Of course they can, a lot of people make a living out of selling on eBay, all he has to do is show them the paypal statement and they can see he is only doing it as a hobby. just imagine how many paypal transactions take place on an ebay seller that has a feeback of several thousand? they can tell the full time workers from the rest, they would be pretty petty if they included it as income though.
#5
It is to check it is not a business as it is not declared to the tax ofice as an income. Once they see them and see its not a business it will be fine
#6
If he has made money from selling his goods and the sums are enough to be considered earnings then they are entitled to ask about them and inspect them. If your claiming benefit then you shoud not be in a position to be able to pay your mortgage/rent. Thus if you are selling and getting a income via this then they may request that the payments made are refunded. Benefit fraud is a massive loss to the Uk and why should i pay someone elses mortgage/rent when they are earning from selling stuff on Ebay.
#7
if i buy a tv and sell it a month later on ebay as i dont like it. is that classed as income?

i understand the dilema.
#8
That´s true.
So as he only does it to get rid of a few unwanted things it shouldn´t be a problem?!
I just asked him and he said he sold items for about 400 pounds in november and december total.
And that only because he sold one of his guitars (240 pounds) to buy a different one with the money.
Usually when it´s not christmas time it´s either nothing or not more than 30 pounds per month.

I don´t know anything about these things really, that´s why I thought i ask you guys
as many of you seem to know what´s going on.

mrplay, I´d like to know that too.
If you buy something and then sell it because you don´t like it
you are basically just getting your money back.
Is that still classed as income?
#9
rob585
If he has made money from selling his goods and the sums are enough to be considered earnings then they are entitled to ask about them and inspect them. If your claiming benefit then you shoud not be in a position to be able to pay your mortgage/rent. Thus if you are selling and getting a income via this then they may request that the payments made are refunded. Benefit fraud is a massive loss to the Uk and why should i pay someone elses mortgage/rent when they are earning from selling stuff on Ebay.


Yeah...but do they mention in the forms you have to fill out that
you have to list a paypal account?
I mean why would anyone who doesn´t sell as a business seller
even think about telling them about it?
banned#10
selling goods you have purchased at £100 and selling them on at a profit of £300 is classed as an income, selling bits and bobs round the home is not classed as an income
#11
Well then he shouldn´t have a problem as all the personal USED items were sold at a loss
(original purchse price was higher than the $$ he got for selling them on ebay)

Thanks for the help :)
He will be relieved to hear this.
I also found this on another forum for anyone who´s interested:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=534402
#12
My husband worked for the benefits agency a few years ago... Selling a few bits on ebay for a few pounds is completely different to selling £400 worth of items & choosing to buy luxury items, ie, a guitar, and claim housing benefit rather than put that towards paying the rent...
#13
yes but it is still a personal item and it wouldnt have made a difference if he had kept it
cuz they wouldnt ask him to sell it. From what I understood reading the thread on the other forum too
is that if you are selling personal items it doesn´t count against the benefits as it is like
a carboot sale and you did not buy the items to sell them again for a profit.
You are always taking a loss because no one gives you the NEW price for a used item.
So it shouldn´t matter that he sold a guitar and bought another one with it.
Sure, i get your point in keeping the money to pay for rent or something else with it.
But if he had taken it to a local shop and just traded it for another guitar, no one would say anything.

And i think if we sold everything we have that we don´t want or need on ebay it would be way
more than 400 pounds, you can´t say that´s a lot really if they went through everything they have.
Still would make it a personal sale of used items, just that they add up cuz its many items.
This doesn´t make it a commercial sale though.
banned#14
your one post indicates there making £30 per month, if paypal is showing a monthly income they will probably investigate this further
#15
But he did sell it & did have £400 that month that he chose to buy a guitar with instead of paying his rent, that's how the council will probably look upon it. My hubby said a couple who'd bought kitkats on their shopping were questioned once because they were "luxury items" !
#16
I have no idea LOL
So aren´t the statements from the other thread i posted true?
That you are allowed to sell your personal posessions and it doesn´t influence
the benefits as you are selling at a loss?
#17
No they're not true... It doesn't matter if you're selling at a loss. It basically comes down to saying.. "I have no money to pay my rent. Can you pay it for me? Oh but I did just have £400 cash and bought a new guitar with it..."
#18
Why should they be able to root through people's bank statements, that's an invasion of privacy isn't it.
I sell my second hand clothes on quite often on ebay, sometimes listing up to 15 items a time. I pay VAT and fees to ebay and paypal and end up with enough to put a few quid in the bank then get some more clothes with the rest. How can that be classed as income if it's not a regular predictable income?
It comes to something when complete strangers are able to look through your bank statements ... if the government can't keep our details safe, then why would anyone trust these morons with their bank statements?
#19
TanyaSpace
I have no idea LOL
So aren´t the statements from the other thread i posted true?
That you are allowed to sell your personal posessions and it doesn´t influence
the benefits as you are selling at a loss?


No, they are true. You are allowed to sell your own items, what you are not allowed to do is sell items that you have purchased for the sole purpose of selling them on. However, you are only allowed a certain amount of savings (£6000 from April 2006), so if you have gone over that by selling your items on eBay then you will be in trouble.

I am guessing the council will just want to make sure that the person in question is not selling things for profit [note: you do not actually have to make a profit for it to count], rather than just selling their own items. So if they haven't been doing this, providing the info they want should prove that they haven't been doing this.
#20
Sheriff Waffles
I sell my second hand clothes on quite often on ebay, sometimes listing up to 15 items a time. I pay VAT and fees to ebay and paypal and end up with enough to put a few quid in the bank then get some more clothes with the rest. How can that be classed as income if it's not a regular predictable income?


Selling your own clothes second hand isn't classed as income and you don't have to declare it.
banned#21
Sheriff Waffles
Why should they be able to root through people's bank statements, that's an invasion of privacy isn't it.
I sell my second hand clothes on quite often on ebay, sometimes listing up to 15 items a time. I pay VAT and fees to ebay and paypal and end up with enough to put a few quid in the bank then get some more clothes with the rest. How can that be classed as income if it's not a regular predictable income?
It comes to something when complete strangers are able to look through your bank statements ... if the government can't keep our details safe, then why would anyone trust these morons with their bank statements?


Nobody has said you cannot do this, what has been said is if it is seen you have a continual income then this should be taken into account when claiming benefits, the benefit sysyem is there to help those without, not help those get more
#22
sadiebabes
No they're not true... It doesn't matter if you're selling at a loss. It basically comes down to saying.. "I have no money to pay my rent. Can you pay it for me? Oh but I did just have £400 cash and bought a new guitar with it..."


You are allowed to have up to £6000 in savings and still claim housing benefit. What possesions you may/may not have are not taken into consideration.
#23
I know but I do sometimes buy things in the sale and then go off them before I wear them, I sell them as new ... is this wrong. I don't claim council tax benefits for this exact reason, they can pry into your personal details any time they feel like it. I know there are people out ther getting government hand outs when they shouldn't be, but surely being this invasive with innocent people is wrong?
#24
nightswimmer
You are allowed to have up to £6000 in savings and still claim housing benefit. What possesions you may/may not have are not taken into consideration.


I'm not talking about possessions. The guy had £400 go into his bank account one month but is claiming he doesn't have enough money to pay his rent but he went out and bought a guitar?! He'll be asked what the £400 was spent on and if they deem that not critical to survive on they may refuse his benefit.
banned#25
Sheriff Waffles
I know but I do sometimes buy things in the sale and then go off them before I wear them, I sell them as new ... is this wrong. I don't claim council tax benefits for this exact reason, they can pry into your personal details any time they feel like it. I know there are people out ther getting government hand outs when they shouldn't be, but surely being this invasive with innocent people is wrong?


i think there is a clear difference between buying the odd thing, then selling, to buying the odd 30 things a week for selling, if it is seen as something happening each week/month then i think its fair to say it should be investigatd, without investigating people how will they ever be caught
#26
Sheriff Waffles
I know but I do sometimes buy things in the sale and then go off them before I wear them, I sell them as new ... is this wrong. I don't claim council tax benefits for this exact reason, they can pry into your personal details any time they feel like it. I know there are people out ther getting government hand outs when they shouldn't be, but surely being this invasive with innocent people is wrong?


If you're not doing anything wrong then you don't have anything to hide. It might not be nice letting them see bank details etc but they usually do it for a good reason. It doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong at all so I wouldn't worry! :)
#27
sassie
i think there is a clear difference between buying the odd thing, then selling, to buying the odd 30 things a week for selling, if it is seen as something happening each week/month then i think its fair to say it should be investigatd, without investigating people how will they ever be caught


I just empathise with those in a really tight situation, and have to live off budget 50p meals just to save some pennies, but shouldn't they be allowed the occasional treat ... maybe not a £400 one, but presents at christmas etc... maybe the goverment should find more tactful way of monitoring the cheats or potential cheats, instead of treating everyone who claims as a potential benefit cheat, it's a bit unfair.
Anyway rant over...
#28
Sheriff Waffles
I know but I do sometimes buy things in the sale and then go off them before I wear them, I sell them as new ... is this wrong. I don't claim council tax benefits for this exact reason, they can pry into your personal details any time they feel like it. I know there are people out ther getting government hand outs when they shouldn't be, but surely being this invasive with innocent people is wrong?


If you didn't buy them with the purpose/intent of selling them on, then you are ok.

As for prying, we live in a current climate where it is considered more acceptable to stamp out benefit fraud, even if it is at the expense of some genuine claiments getting denied benefits that they are fully entitled to, than it is to allow some benefit fraud but make sure that all those who need benefits get them. Until that changes, if you claim benefits then you are considered guilty until you can prove your innocence, and your privacey counts for nothing.
#29
sadiebabes
I'm not talking about possessions. The guy had £400 go into his bank account one month but is claiming he doesn't have enough money to pay his rent but he went out and bought a guitar?! He'll be asked what the £400 was spent on and if they deem that not critical to survive on they may refuse his benefit.


I think if it can be shown to be a one off, then this wouldn't be the case. If on the other hand he was doing this every month, then they would refuse his benefits.
banned#30
I live on state benfit and am extremely grateful that the system is there and allows me to bring up my children, ok not in luxury but still i can be home all the time with them, if they wish to see my bank details or my savings books then surely that is a small price to pay to prove that i do need help:? If you have nothing to hide why should it bother you, it is not about privacy, it is about helping those that need it, not helping those that have it, without looking into these things how are they supposed to know who need and who dont
#31
sassie
I live on state benfit and am extremely grateful that the system is there and allows me to bring up my children, ok not in luxury but still i can be home all the time with them, if they wish to see my bank details or my savings books then surely that is a small price to pay to prove that i do need help:? If you have nothing to hide why should it bother you, it is not about privacy, it is about helping those that need it, not helping those that have it, without looking into these things how are they supposed to know who need and who dont


You are right. But they can over step the mark sometimes. Hope you don't pay for your phone/internet bill through your bank as they may see this as a luxury and start deducting money from you ...
#32
Right, i had something very similar last year, i was on Income Support and someone rang their "hotline" and said i was making a huge amount on ebay etc etc....well i wasnt making that much i was selling unwanted items. Well the outcome was after an investigation via the fraud team at the Jobcentre that i was allowed to sell, personal unwanted items and i would have to declare it if over £5,000. I honestly didnt know i was making a mistake as i was selling things i bought for my kids etc with the money they had originally gave me in benefits and i wanted to sell them to buy them bigger clothes when they outgrew them etc.
Its all very sketchy when it comes to what you can and cant do but i was told yes i could sell unwanted items but big things like a car etc had to be declared
banned#33
Sheriff Waffles
You are right. But they can over step the mark sometimes. Hope you don't pay for your phone/internet bill through your bank as they may see this as a luxury and start deducting money from you ...


this is not true, stop scar mongering, you have an amount to live on, they do not tell you to how to spend it, unless of course you are seen to be living above the means of someone on benefit and then you would be investigated
#34
[QUOTE=sassie]this is not true, stop scar mongering, you have an amount to live on, they do not tell you to how to spend it, unless of course you are seen to be living above the means of someone on benefit and then you would be investigated[/QUOTE

I'm not scare mongering, they just gave my student friend a hard time once when she was on benefits ... checking her bank, if your spending regular money on what they see as luxuries, they start investigating and treating you like a criminal. I just don't agree with that, she found it all rather stressfull and upsetting. All she was doing was going to college to get a better job to support her young daughter. That's what I don't agree with.
banned#35
Sheriff Waffles;1510460
[QUOTE=sassie]this is not true, stop scar mongering, you have an amount to live on, they do not tell you to how to spend it, unless of course you are seen to be living above the means of someone on benefit and then you would be investigated[/QUOTE

I'm not scare mongering, they just gave my student friend a hard time once when she was on benefits ... checking her bank, if your spending regular money on what they see as luxuries, they start investigating and treating you like a criminal. I just don't agree with that, she found it all rather stressfull and upsetting. All she was doing was going to college to get a better job to support her young daughter. That's what I don't agree with.


and what was it in your friends account that made them suspect she was defrauding the system? Do you expect people to just walk in and say i havent got enough money can i have some more, and them say oh yes here you go heres a £100 a week to help you along a little, they ask to say proof of your income, savings etc, etc, what would you suggest they do just go by what we all say:?
#36
They never had any problems with me having the internet,phone, sky etc that was never once mentioned to me when i went and was questioned about everything, i think some jobcentre people think that they are better than others and try to cause trouble for the sake of it for the people that are on benefits. I have been off them for a while now and i never felt better for it as im fed up of them dictating what was right and wrong to me.
#37
amcol
They never had any problems with me having the internet,phone, sky etc that was never once mentioned to me when i went and was questioned about everything, i think some jobcentre people think that they are better than others and try to cause trouble for the sake of it for the people that are on benefits. I have been off them for a while now and i never felt better for it as im fed up of them dictating what was right and wrong to me.


Hoorah! That's what I'm on about some of these employers go on an all out power trip and over step the mark, and this is what innocent people like my friend are up against. Sure, not everyone who claims will have a bad experience, but what about the others. Society in general doesn't have a high opinion of people on benefits, my friend was sadly aware that she was in this type cast as being a 'sponger' and what made it worse was the people giving her these benefits made her feel no better either.
My friend has now got a job in a nursery and is off benefits and now feels like a free person
#38
With respect to everyone there is an awful lot of misinformation or part truth information on this thread.

People really should qualified help on income and tax as it is usually personal to your situation.

There are set allowances for selling personal belongings (£6,000 pa before CGT) but again your other income may come into play etc.
People need to understand that virtually ALL income is taxable over the normal personal allowances.

There is not normally though any need to panic about the odd sale on ebay or anywhere else.
Where people are gaining a regular income from selling items then they need to seek advice and make sure they are aware of their allowances and rights.

The best place to get this advice is from your own Tax Office who nowadays are remarkably helpful usually and will spend time with you helping you.
Just be careful however if you think you might be on the limits. Don't give out figures rather than quote examples and what if's.

The next best place is online http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ Search for what info you want.

Lastly CAB will help both offline and online http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm

Hope that helps :)
#39
I have sky as i always have, plus i needed something, as i never went out, i was under severe post natal depression with severe anxiety problems and i never left the house for a long time, i had sky to give me something as i couldnt go out doing the day to day spending that most people would. I wasnt being questioned about needing sky i was questioned as they thought i was frauding the system by selling personal items on Ebay which were little amounts neither here nor there.
Luckily i am better now and my husband is able to go to work which he now does and i feel better for it, i used the system as i needed to but not to sponge off it. At the end of the day as we are now tax payers i dont mind people using there money on things like sky etc because at the end of the day its their money they are entitled to spend it on what they want.
The other grouch i do have with benefits is i feel you do get to much money, considering they want people to go back to work we struggled to find work that made us "better off" and even now, we are probably only a fraction better off than we was on benefits, they either need to raise the NMW or they need to reduce the amount of benefits family recieve, i even felt this whilst on benefits before anyone accuses me of turning a working class snob LOL
#40
I agree partly, I dont think benefits should be reduced as many people who cant work but want to work struggle to make ends meet as it is, its just the ones with no bills like the stereotype chavs and single mums who push kids out and dont work who abuse the system

I agree with income my rent was £45 2 years ago and I couldnt get a full time job.

I worked 20 hours a week and ended up £20 a week worse off not including things like snacks or drinks at work.

I was thinking of cutting back my hours as if I worked 12 hours a week I would be £35 better off than when I worked 20 hours due to tax and working 12 hours I would get full housing benefit.

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