In a previous article, we spoke about whether or not you are eligible to receive child -tax credits. If you are a parent that does receive child tax credits, you will know that every April your situation is assessed and your claim is renewed for the following year. Many recipients will simply get an overview of what they receive and their income will carry on as normal. However, some need to fill out the form they receive and send it back (this is usually if your situation has changed and you are now entitled to a smaller or larger amount of money), and the deadline is fast approaching. Unfortunately, missing the deadline can result in your payments stopping altogether as the DWP don’t have your up to date details. According to HMRC, by the end of this month (31st July) around 3 million claimants will need to have renewed their child tax credits. Not leaving your renewal until the last minute is beneficial because not only will your payments be stopped, you will also be asked to pay back the money you have received since April as there will be no proof that you are lawfully entitled to claim it.
How do I renew my credits?
If you have left until now to renew when you are required to, don’t worry it can be quickly and easily done. Changes in circumstances that need to be reported to HMRC include changes to employment eg working hours or income and a change in your childcare costs. The easiest way to report these is to do it online via Gov.UK, or if you have a smartphone HMRC have a handy new app, which is really simple and convenient to use. The benefits you receive will differ depending on your financial situation so it is important that you give the right information, so as not to miss out on the benefits you deserve. In the same sense, if you accidentally receive too many without knowing, you will be expected to pay this back, which may understandably have a strain on your finances. As mentioned before, the child tax credit pack you receive in April will either require you to respond or just require you to ensure all the information HMRC has for you in correct. If your letter features the words ‘reply now’ then it means your information requires updating, before the 31st July. If it has the words ‘check now’ you will just need to check over the form to see if any misinformation has been printed, and if this is the case, inform HMRC straight away.
HMRC are encouraging people to renew their credits online as it is quick and convenient. However, if you are having any problems with your online form, then please do contact HMRC via the contact number. There is also a webchat facility that is available from HMRC for any minor issues. The new online renewal system is understandably a godsend to many who have waited in endless phone-line queues in the past as people attempt to renew before the deadline.