If you’re claiming tax credits and haven’t yet renewed, then you’d be wise to pay very close attention to the following …
Don’t Miss Out
Tax Credits are payments made to eligible people with children and/or very low incomes. Examples include Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits and the payments are made by the UK Government. However, the scheme rules are complex and part of that includes a strict renewal process, with a built-in deadline.
Alarmingly, even if you are already claiming tax credits, there’s a high likelihood that your payments will cease completely unless you take proactive steps to renew your claim to them by 31st July* 2018 — that’s just a few days away at time of writing, so there is no time to lose.
* If your renewal pack states a different deadline, then that applies instead of 31st July in your case.
How to Renew Tax Credits
If you are claiming tax credits, you will be sent a renewal pack.
If your renewal pack has a red line across the first page, then you will need to send a reply.
Note that you can only renew your claim once you have received your renewal pack. Having received the pack, you should then ideally renew your tax credits online although see below for other options.
If your form shows the code ‘TC 603 R’, you do not need to send a reply and your tax credits will be renewed automatically. However, you must make sure that you check the form carefully in case any of your details are incorrect. Should you fail to report any errors or to confirm any changes in your circumstances, your tax credits could stop or you could receive a fine. You can report errors and changes in circumstances using the Tax Credits Online Service.
Renewing online is HMRC’s preferred method of renewal, via the Gov.UK website.
To renew your claim to tax credits via telephone, simply contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or textphone: 0345 300 3909.
You can also renew your tax credits claim by post. Send your claim to: Comben House, Farriers Way, Netherton L75 1AX. Make sure that your renewal claim arrives by 31 July and we also recommend sending by recorded delivery so you have some proof of the arrival date.
You should hear back from HMRC within 8 weeks of your renewal application. Their award notice will confirm how much you will receive.
Changes in Circumstances & Complaints
If you want to confirm a change of address or raise an official complaint, you will need to clearly write ‘Change of Circumstances’ or ‘Complaint’ at the top of your letter so its purpose is clear. Then send it to: HM Revenue and Customs – Tax Credit Office, Preston PR1 4AT.
Haven’t Received Your Renewal Pack?
If you haven’t received your renewal pack, contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or textphone: 0345 300 3909.
Note that if you claimed tax credits after 6 April, your renewal pack will usually be sent to you the following year.
Missed the Deadline?
Miss the tax credits renewal deadline … and your tax credits will simply stop. You will receive a statement and will also have to pay back any tax credits that you’ve received since 6th April. However, if you send your renewal within 30 days of receipt of the statement, your tax credits will resume and also you’ll be sent any payments that you’ve missed since your claim ended, assuming you’re still eligible, of course. If you take longer than 30 days to send in your renewal, you will usually need to make a fresh claim.
Need Extra Help with the Renewal Process?
The ‘Needs Enhanced Support Service‘ is an option for those for whom all of the renewal methods above are not suitable for one reason or another. Contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or textphone: 0345 300 3909 for more information, although be aware that it’s best to avoid peak times otherwise you may find yourself in a long queue. Between 8.30 and 10.30 am should be the least busy times. In contrast, peak times include weekday lunchtimes, after 5.00 pm, Mondays and Fridays.
Alternatively, avoid the telephone queues completely and simply call Taxfile on 0208 761 8000. We can help navigate you through the maze of rules and regulations and sort your claim out for you. Simple! You can also book an appointment online, here. Taxfile are tax experts and accountants with South London offices in Tulse Hill and Dulwich (SE21), a South West London office in Battersea (SW8), a West Country office in Exeter in Devon (EX35) and additional tax advisers in Plymouth, Poole, Dorset, Yorkshire and Carlisle.