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More than 300,000 tax credits customers have just over one week to renew their claims before the 31 July deadline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned

 

As the deadline approaches, customers are being urged not to leave their renewal until the last minute and risk their payments being stopped. The quickest and easiest way to complete a renewal is via GOV.UK. Customers can manage their tax credits online.

Once tax credits customers have completed their renewal, they can use their online account to check its progress and find out when they will hear back from HMRC.

This year, about 28,000 customers have used the official HMRC app on their smartphone to renew their tax credits. The app allows customers to:

  • report any tax credits changes and complete their renewal
  • check their tax credits payments schedule, and
  • find out how much they have earned for the year.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“Tax credits payments can provide our customers with vital financial support. There is just one week left to renew your claim – don’t delay and do it online by searching ‘tax credits’ on GOV.UK.”

Customers do not need to report any temporary falls in their working hours as a result of coronavirus. Unless their hours have permanently changed, they will continue to be treated as if they are working their normal hours for up to eight weeks after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes. Any self-employed individuals who have claimed a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant will need to declare the grant payments. Search ‘working out your income for tax credit/self-employment’ on GOV.UK.

But if there is a change in a customer’s circumstances that could affect their tax credits, they must report the changes to HMRC. These include changes to:

  • living arrangements
  • childcare
  • working hours, or
  • income (increase or decrease).

Post Office card accounts are closing. From 30 November 2021, HMRC will stop making payments of Child Benefit, Guardians Allowance and tax credits, into Post Office card accounts. HMRC is reminding any tax credits and Child Benefit customers who use this account to receive their payments, that they will need to notify HMRC of their new bank account details. HMRC is encouraging customers to act now so they do not miss any payments once their Post Office account closes. They can contact HMRC’s helpline (0345 300 3900), update their details while renewing tax credits or use their Personal Tax Account. To find out how to open a bank account, visit Citizens Advice.

HMRC is also urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. The department sees a high number of fraudsters calling, texting or emailing people claiming to be from HMRC. If in doubt, HMRC advises customers not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.

Notes to Editors

1.  Visit GOV.UK for more information on renewing your tax credits

2.  Customers can get help and information on renewing tax credits:

  • On GOV.UK
  • Using our webchat service, by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘tax credits general enquiries’
  • By tweeting @HMRCcustomers or posting on our Facebook page with general queries
  • By using the HMRC app, available via your phone’s app store
  • By visiting our YouTube videos to help with their renewal
  • By calling the tax credits helpline: 0345 300 3900

3.  Contact HMRC straight away if you disagree with any of the information in the letter or need to tell us about any changes.

4.  Tax credits is being replaced by Universal Credit. Customers cannot receive tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time.

5.  Tax credits and Child Benefit customers, who use a Post Office card account to receive their payments, must notify HMRC of their new bank account details before 30 November 2021. If they miss the deadline, their payments will be suspended until a valid bank account is provided.

6HMRC’s scams advice:

Stop

  •   Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.
  • Do not trust caller ID on phones. Numbers can be spoofed

Challenge:

  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests for personal information – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.

Protect:

  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. Report scam phone calls on GOV.UK.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud (in Scotland, contact the police on 101).

7.  People can also follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s six essential steps to keep themselves and their businesses secure online by visiting CyberAware.gov.uk

8.  Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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