Tax credit claimants have one week to renew claims
Tax credit claimants are reminded today that they have just over a week to renew their claims before the 31 July deadline.
Steve Lamey, Director of Benefits and Credits at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), said: "Time is running out to renew. Claimants need to renew by 31 July or their payments will stop."
HMRC has published a series of online videos to help claimants through the renewal process.
The interactive, bite-sized videos take viewers through the renewal process step by step, offering the chance to tailor the help to their own circumstances. The videos cover key areas such as: checking the accuracy of the information in your renewals pack; notifying HMRC of any changes in circumstances you haven't already reported during the year; and providing details of your previous year's income.
The videos are available - as well as other help and information on tax credit renewals – from direct.gov.uk/renewyourtaxcredits .
Claimants are also urged to take care when renewing tax credits as errors could mean they receive less money than they are entitled to.
In addition, HMRC has alerted claimants to a surge of fake "phishing" emails sent out by fraudsters in the run-up to the tax credits renewal deadline.
Emails inform recipients that they are due a tax rebate, and provide a click-through link to a cloned replica of the HMRC website. Recipients are asked to provide credit or debit card details. Fraudsters then try to take money from their accounts.
HMRC has made it clear that the department currently only ever contacts customers who are due a tax refund in writing, by post. It does not use telephone calls, emails or external companies in these circumstances. People receiving an email claiming to be from HMRC should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before deleting it permanently.
As part of a clampdown on tax credit error and fraud, HMRC is examining claims particularly closely this year. The focus is on claimants' statements on employment, self-employment, hours worked, childcare and children as well as any details that have changed since previous years' claims.
Claimants must let HMRC know of any changes in their circumstances that they haven't already reported during the year. These could be changes in working hours, childcare costs or pay. If asked, they must also provide details of the previous year's income.
Help and information on tax credit renewals can be obtained from hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/keep-up-to-date/renew-claim/index.htm