UK families who claim tax credits have now just hours to renew their claims or risk having their payments stopped.
Households that claim working tax credits or child tax credits or both have until 6 August to get their renewal information to HM Revenue & Customs or face the prospect of missing out on the financial boost.
HMRC has revealed more than 865,000 people still need to renew their claims - and time is running out as the deadline looms.
Reasons given for missing previous deadlines have included “I didn’t need the money because I’d met a rich bloke, but he dumped me”, “my dog ate the form” and “the form was locked in the boot of my car, and then my car caught fire”, said the Revenue.
Nick Lodge, director general for benefits and credits at HMRC, said: “Time is running out for people to renew their tax credits, or they risk losing their money. The majority of people can renew online this year, which is quick, easy and can be done at a time of day to suit them. However they choose to renew, the most important thing is to do it.”
HMRC also asks all claimants to check the accuracy of the information in their renewals pack, and to inform it of any changes to their circumstances that they haven’t already reported, such as to working hours, childcare costs or pay.
How to renew
If you need to renew, you will have been sent a renewal pack - if you started claiming after 6 April 2014, your pack will be sent next year.
Check the information within the pack is correct. Any change in your circumstances such as your working hours or wages will have to be provided to HMRC to make sure you receive what you are entitled to.
If your renewal pack comes with an annual review code TC 603 R and an annual declaration code TC 603 D, you will be able to renew your tax credits online for the first time by visiting gov.uk/renewtaxcredits.
By phone or post
If your annual declaration has a TC 603 D 2 code then you must renew over the phone or by post. The tax credit helpline is 0345 300 3900 and is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturday.
Alternatively you can send your form to HM Revenue and Customs Tax Credits, Comben House, Farriers Way, Netherton, L75 1WB.
What you need
When renewing make sure you have all your documents to hand including your renewal pack, your national insurance number, details about any change in your circumstances, and your total income for the past 12 months including your partners.
If you are sent a form with the code TC 603 R, your tax credits will be renewed automatically but still make sure you check the document carefully to ensure all the details are correct.