HMRC warns 170,000 benefit claimants to act now or risk having payments stopped

HMRC has issued a warning to 171,350 Tax Credit claimants that they have just one week to renew their annual claim – or they’ll risk missing out.

Two types of renewal packs were sent out between May 2 and June 15 and actions differ depending on which pack a person received. However, recipients “must” respond by July 31, 2023, in order to retain eligibility for the benefit.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “We know Tax Credits offer vital financial support for our customers so it is important that you renew by the deadline on July 31.

“It is quick and easy to renew online at GOV.UK or using the HMRC app, just search ‘manage my tax credits’ on GOV.UK.”

Customers who received a renewal pack with a red line across the first page and the words “reply now” must respond to HMRC.

They’ll need to report any life changes as well as provide details of their current circumstances, such as changes in relationship status, childcare costs, working hours, and income.

The full list of changes that could affect customers’ Tax Credits can be found here. It should be noted, “reply now” customers must respond to the request for information even if there have been no changes to their circumstances.

Customers whose packs had a black line across the first page and the words “check now” only need to update HMRC if their details have changed.

How to renew Tax Credits

Those who need to renew their Tax Credit claim can do so through a number of different methods.

According to HMRC, the “quickest and easiest” way for customers to renew their tax credits is online at GOV.UK or via the HMRC app. People can also call the Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900.

People could be fined up to £300 if they don’t report certain changes within one month and up to £3,000 if they give wrong information, so it’s important to make sure all responses are factually correct before submitting.

HMRC is also warning customers to watch out for fraudsters, as they typically try to capitalise on deadlines to trick people into handing over their personal details.

The statement reads: “Typical scam examples include emails or texts claiming an individual’s details aren’t up to date and that they risk losing out on payments that are due to them.

“If a phone call, text or email is unexpected, do not give out private information or reply, and do not download attachments or click on links.”

People should also be sure not to share their login details with anyone else and if they suspect any fraudulent activity, to report it.

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