Care home fraud soars – but genuine long term planning is the answer

Tax Comments Off on Care home fraud soars – but genuine long term planning is the answer

The Audit Commission has claimed that fraud in the care system has almost doubled in a year as middle-class families attempt to hide their assets from HMRC. The watchdog recorded an 82% rise in the amount lost to councils last year as families avoided nursing-home fees or failed to report the death of a loved-one to keep receiving payments of up to £60,000 a year. Alan Bryce, the Audit Commission’s head of counter-fraud, said that the amount defrauded from the care system had climbed to £4m in 2013-14, while the number of cases detected had risen by 64% to 200. He said the figures were a “drop in the ocean” compared with the scale of fraud and stated that few cases were being pursued by the authorities.

Long term care funding

The other side of the story here is that the reality is that there are 40,000 family homes sold each year to pay for care.  Of course you may have worked all your life to pay for this asset or it could be an inheritance you would have received in the future from your parents.

The Government have recently announced that from 2017 there will be a £75,000 cap on such fees.  However this is still a substantial loss and the cap on covers the cost of personal care (washing and dressing) not accommodation or food. It is likely therefore that families will still have to end up selling their homes to pay for care.

With proper planning in advance this situation could be mitigated.  Contact John Elliott or Sue Stephens for further information.