One in six households claim tax credits – but don’t lose yours
Research has found that the number of working households who receive tax credits has more than doubled in the last ten years. But, with changes to the eligibility criteria and the upcoming deadline, will you continue to receive yours?
In our guide, we look at how the number of people claiming tax credits in the UK has risen over the last ten years. And, with the tax credits deadline approaching, we also look at what you have to do to renew your tax credits claim for next year.
Number of households claiming tax credits doubles in a decade
The latest figures – from April 2011 – show that 3.3 million working, working-age households received tax credits over and above those people just receiving the family element of Child Tax Credit. It represents around 17% – roughly one in six – of all households and has more than doubled since 2002.
The graph below shows how the number of households claiming tax credits has risen in the last decade.
Make sure you renew your tax credits by 31 July
The Tax Credit Office asks you to ‘renew’ your tax credits claim once a year. This is to make sure you’ve been paid – and continue to be paid – the right money.
You should have received your Tax Credits renewal pack by 28 June 2013. If you haven’t, get in touch with the Tax Credits helpline immediately. What you need to do depends on the form you received:
- Annual Declaration Form (TC603D or TC603D2) – complete the required information as quickly as possible and by no later than 31 July. You need to reply by 31 July, or the deadline shown in your renewal pack. If you don’t, the Tax Credit Office will stop your tax credits payments and send you a statement showing you whether you’ve been paid too much, or not enough, in tax credits
- Annual Review Notice (TC603R) – your claim will be renewed automatically. However, you should tell the Tax Credits office if you have had any changes in circumstances or your income is different to what’s shown in the notice
You can renew in one of the following ways:
- completing the Annual Declaration form (TC603D or TC603D2) and returning it to the Tax Credit Office in the reply envelope provided
- calling the Tax Credit Helpline
It normally takes up to eight weeks to deal with your renewal and so you should renew as soon as you can. The Tax Credit Office will then send you an award notice with a final decision for the last tax year and a separate award notice showing what your payments will be for the new tax year, including any overpayments or underpayments
The Tax Credit Office may write to you to check that you have renewed correctly. They may also ask you for evidence of your income and so you should keep any relevant paperwork safe. If you don’t get your award notice within eight weeks, contact the Tax Credit Helpline.