HMRC has issued a final warning that customers eligible for tax credits have one month to renew their declarations and declare any change in circumstances appropriately. This can include a change of residence, childcare arrangements, working hours or income.
The annual deadline for declarations is on the 31st July of each year, and this year HMRC has sent a final reminder this month to over 300,000 customers regarding their renewal.
Previously, HMRC has already sent reminders to over 1.5 million customers between the 2nd of May and the 15th of June 2023. These reminders come in the form of a ‘reply now’, or ‘check now’ pack.
HMRC has provided some more information regarding the contents of the information packs:
The ‘reply now’ information packs will show the first page with a red line, indicating that the recipient must confirm immediately to ensure that the information HMRC holds is up to date.
The ‘check now’ information packs will show the first page with a black line, asking the recipient to check that the information HMRC has on record is up to date. If so, the recipient will not need to respond, and their tax credits will be automatically renewed.
HMRC recommends that customers use GOV.UK or the HMRC app to respond to the information packs, as this is usually quicker and more convenient.
Additionally, HMRC has warned that customers should beware of fraudsters who will be operating as the deadline approaches. These scams typically consist of unsolicited messages purporting to be from tax agencies (often by email or text message) that the recipient will not be eligible for tax credits if they fail to provide personal information. Customers should ensure that they do not respond to any of these messages, and not click or download any links or attachments.
By the end of 2024, the existing tax credits system will be replaced by Universal Credit, and customers will receive a letter from the Department of Work & Pensions with instructions on how to apply. Once the tax credit system is phased out, no further support will be offered if the customer does not apply for Universal Credit.