What are Tax Credits?
Tax Credits are a state benefit which the UK government pays to eligible claimants. If you qualify for tax credits, you must fill out a claim form to apply for them. The Tax Credit Office could fine you up to £3,000 if you provide incorrect information. They will usually backdate tax credits up to 31 days before the start of your claim. You might have to ask them to do this if you are claiming other benefits. The amount of money that you will receive every week or four weeks depends on your circumstances, particularly your income. Working Tax Credit can top up low incomes, and Child Tax Credit can help with childcare costs. You can’t claim tax credits at the same time as Universal Credit because it’s replacing them.
Manage Your Tax Credits Online Service
Applying for and receiving tax credits is more convenient with HMRC‘s online services. To use the online service for tax credits you will need to create a Government Gateway account. This will require your National Insurance number and proof of your identity. This could be your bank account details, your passport number and its expiration date, a P60 or your most recent three payslips. Your Government Gateway ID will allow you to access your personal tax account and manage all of your records with HMRC. Every time you log in to the online service, you must have a phone nearby. It will either call you or send a text message with a 6-digit code which you have to enter to access your account. This is for security purposes to prevent financial fraud and identity theft. Using the online service, you will be able to view your claims and payments. You can fill out and submit online forms for tax credits and also track their progress.
Online Tax Credits Renewal
Tax credits claims only last for the duration of one tax year. This means that you must renew your claim in time for the next tax year if you want to continue receiving tax credit payments. However, you do not have to submit a new claim form every tax year and go through the application process from the very beginning. You can renew your current claim by providing up-to-date information on your circumstances to HMRC before the renewal deadline. They will usually send a renewal pack of papers to you between April – June. Once you receive your renewal pack, you can go online to the tax credits section of your personal tax account. You can then renew your claim online, and save and return to it later if you need to. It will allow you to save a partially-completed form for up to 28 days. However, it will time out without saving after 30 minutes of inactivity if you don’t manually save the information. Once you complete it you will see a summary screen. HMRC will send an e-mail confirming receipt of your submission within 24 hours. They will send reminders if you do not renew by the date on your renewal pack. Failure to renew may result in HMRC terminating your tax credit award and recovering overpayments.
Reporting Circumstances Online
As with many benefits, your tax credits entitlement will depend on your individual circumstances. This is why you need to report any changes in circumstances to HMRC. If you don’t, you could be receiving more or less money than you are actually entitled to. When HMRC uncovers a case of overpayment, they will seek to recover this money from you. They might also charge a fine if you provide misinformation deliberately or you fail to provide information which affects your award entitlement. It is much easier to just avoid this by updating HMRC whenever there are changes to your living and working circumstances. This includes a change of name or address, change in job or income, changes in health or ability, changes between single and joint households, adding a new child, or reporting your child’s status if they are eligible to continue receiving Child Tax Credit until they are 20 instead of stopping at 16. You will need to notify HMRC if Universal Credit rolls out in your area and you move onto that benefit instead. They can assist you with “In Year Finalization” of your tax credits claim. Throughout the year, HMRC might send you a letter about a tax credits check. You must send the information that they request so they can review your claim and award or they could fine you.
Other Ways to Get Help with Managing Tax Credits Online
Managing your tax credits online is done solely through your personal tax account, using your Government Gateway ID to access it. This is the only way to officially submit tax credits information to HMRC online. However, as long as you have an account, you can download the HMRC app and manage your tax credits from a mobile phone or tablet. That’s right, HMRC has a free app that you can download on the iOS App Store or Google Play. If your device has fingerprint or facial recognition you can use this to log in. Otherwise, you will need to receive the 6-digit PIN as usual. You can then check your tax code, National Insurance number, income, and benefits, view payment schedules, track forms, and use the tax calculator. You can also access your Help to Save account through the app. If you need guidance with managing your tax credits, you can also contact HMRC online. Enter your details to access the live chat and if an adviser is available they will assist you with your personal tax account.