Tax credit renewals deadline approaching

The first real deadline of the new tax year approaches quickly. The deadline for confirming your income for tax credit purposes is 31 July 2014. Failure to meet this deadline could result in your tax credits being withdrawn and even needing repaid.

What are Tax Credits?

Tax credits are state benefits which are generally available to lower income families. However, entitlement to the credits is significantly increased where individuals pay for childcare or suffer a drop in normal levels of income perhaps due to incurring trading losses or redundancy.

How do I renew?

If you get tax credits, you can expect to receive an annual renewal pack between 19 April and 28 June. They’re not all sent out at once, so different people will get them at different times. If you haven’t received your renewal pack by 28 June, then contact the Tax Credits helpline on 0345 300 3900.

It’s important to respond to your renewal pack before the 31 July deadline. If you’ve received an Annual Declaration and you fail to reply by the deadline, your tax credits payments will stop and you will have to pay money back. HMRC call centres become especially busy the week before the deadline, so don’t delay or you may have difficulty getting through.

If you receive both an Annual Declaration form and an Annual Review notice, you must reply by the deadline. It’s important to reply even if you don’t want to renew your claim. This is because the renewal process is also a check that you have received the right amount of tax credits for the previous year.

If you only receive an Annual Review notice, your claim will be renewed automatically and you don’t need to reply. However you still need to tell the Tax Credit Office straightaway if:

  • you have had any changes in circumstances
  • your income is different to what’s shown in the Annual Review notice
  • there are mistakes or details missing from the notice

Failure to Renew

People who claim means tested benefit such as Income Support, Income Related Employment & Support Allowance, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit for the whole of the 2013/14 tax year will have their award renewed automatically. However this does not mean that they can relax, they still need to check their award and make sure there are no mistakes. If there are any changes, they must contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 immediately.

It is important to remember that any failure to report a change of circumstance can lead to overpayments of benefits which is normally recoverable unless a claimant has done everything in their power to notify HMRC.

What do I do?

It is important to beat the rush, HMRC are encouraging people to renew their claims as soon as they receive their renewal notice. HMRC contact centres are very busy in the week leading up to the deadline so if claimants call to renew their claim, they could be facing a lengthy wait.

You can renew in one of the following ways:

  • completing the Annual Declaration form and returning it to the Tax Credit Office in the reply envelope provided
  • calling the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 (Textphone 0345 300 3909)
  • online at HMRC website – but only if you have no changes to report

Need help?

If you are unsure what to do, or need advice on how to proceed, please contact us today to speak to one of our advisers.

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