Last year £3.9bn went unclaimed. Act before 31st July to avoid missing out.
“There are only a few days left to renew your tax credits, so you need to take urgent action if you have not done so,” said Steve Lamey from HMRC. If you don’t renew your claim by 31 July, your payments may be stopped. Last year the hotline for renewals was swamped with last minute calls, and HMRC struggled to cope with the volume of enquiries. This year HMRC said call centre staff are prepared for the surge in calls.
Tax credits will be cut drastically from April 2012, but until then you should check your eligibility for tax credits if you earn up to £66,000. Many simply don’t realise they are entitled to claim.
So what are tax credits, and how do I claim?
Working tax credit (WTC) and child tax credit (CTC) are benefits paid by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
You may be eligible for CTC if your combined income is less than £66,000 per annum and you are responsible for at least one child aged up to 16, (or up to 19 if they are in full-time education or on an approved training course). The credit you receive depends upon how many children you have, how old they are and whether they have any disabilities. Nine out of ten families with children are currently eligible to receive this benefit.
The WTC is a payment to top up the earnings of working people on low incomes (typically about £16,000 or less) regardless of whether they have children. Extra amounts can be claimed if you have a disability, or if you work 30 hours or more a week and have child care costs. It is a complicated system for adults aged over 25 which depends on how many hours you work per week, and what other benefits you receive. If you are on a low income, it is worth checking your eligibility for WTC.
Who can I contact for help?
If you need to report a change of circumstances or have any questions call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900, or textphone 0845 300 3909 if you have a hearing or speech impairment. Alternatively, there is a step-by-step video to guide you through the renewals procedure on the HMRC website.