Top tips for renewing your tax credits before the deadline

Have you renewed your tax credits with the Tax Credit Office?

You have to renew your tax credits claim every year and the deadline for renewing your tax credits is fast approaching.  If you haven’t completed your renewal pack, you could miss the 31st July deadline and run the risk of your tax credit payments stopping.  You should have received your renewal pack by 30th June and it’s now time to renew your claim.

So, here’s our guide to making sure you meet the tax credits deadline.  We also provide some great tips for renewing your tax credits.

Renew your tax credits by the 31st July deadline

If you want to continue to receive tax credits or claim them for the first time, you have to submit your tax credit claim by 31st July.  If you miss the deadline, your payments could stop immediately.  You should have received your Tax Credit Annual Declaration between 17th April and 30th June and if you want your payments to continue, you will have to renew your claim before the end of July.

Experts are urging you to renew your claim by the deadline.  The Daily Mirror says that ‘it may seem a hassle to renew tax credit claims every year, but it’s important to ensure you get paid the right money.’

And, Andrew Hubbard of accountancy firm RSM Tenon says: “Failing to return the Annual Declaration risks payments being stopped, and could leave people liable to pay back any overpayments.

“Many families are unaware of their eligibility. It’s not just those out of work – people with an illness, carers, pregnant women and those working more than 16 hours a week, earning less than around £13,000, could be eligible.”

8 top tips for renewing your tax credits

If you have to renew your tax credits by the 31 July deadline, we have put together this list of eight helpful tips.

1. Renew your tax credits as soon as possible

Alison McDonald, Director, Benefits and Credits, says:  “The sooner you renew, the sooner we can check your payments are right. You should check your details carefully as any errors you make now could mean you receive less money.”

2. Make sure all details are correct

The Daily Mirror advises that you should check that the details in your renewal pack are correct.  They also say that you should let the Tax Credit Office know of any changes in your circumstances that you haven’t already reported during the year.  If you don’t, you could receive the wrong amount of tax credits.

3. Don’t worry about renewing if you have only received an Annual Review Notice

You only need to contact the Tax Credits Office to renew your claim if you receive an Annual Declaration form as well as an Annual Review notice.  If you only receive an Annual Review notice (as your claim will be renewed automatically) you don’t need to renew your claim unless your personal circumstances have changed.

You may receive an Annual Declaration Form if you just receive the family element of Child Tax Credit or if you got Income Support, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit for the whole of the last tax year.

4. Renew your tax credits by telephone or by post

There are two ways to renew your tax credits.  Firstly, you can complete the Annual Declaration (TC603D or TC603D2) and return it to the Tax Credit Office.  The address is:

HM Revenue & Customs Tax Credits

Comben House

Farriers Way

Netherton

L75 1WB

Alternatively, you can renew by calling the Tax Credit Helpline.  You cannot renew your tax credits online.

5. If you’re renewing via the helpline, do it early

The Tax Credits Office reports that the demand for their helpline increases towards the 31st July deadline.  So, if you want to renew your claim by telephone rather than sending back your renewal pack, you are advised to do this sooner rather than later.

The helpline gets very busy towards the end of July and you may struggle to get through or have to hold for a long time.

6. Have your information to hand when you call the helpline to renew your tax credits

If you contact the Tax Credit helpline you should have the following to hand: your National Insurance number, your renewal pack, details of any new changes in circumstances and the amount of your household’s total income for the last tax year.

7. Confirm your claim even if you’re not eligible in the current tax year

Due to changes in the tax credits rules or your personal circumstances, you may no longer be eligible for tax credits in the coming year.  However, you should still follow the instructions in your renewal pack to confirm your claim for last year even if your circumstances have changed and you are no longer eligible for the current year.

If you don’t, you could be forced to pay back some tax credits that you received in the last tax year.

8. Renew your claim even if you don’t have exact details of your income

You should still renew your tax credits claim even if you can’t provide details of your actual income for the last tax year.  When you complete your renewal pack you should provide an estimate of your income.  You will later have to confirm details of your actual income (normally by 31 January).

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