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Over 500,000 people who still need to renew their tax credits have been given an extra week to do so. The reason for the extension of the deadline is because of strike action, according to HMRC who announced the decision.
There are around 550,000 people who have yet to renew their tax credits. HMRC has extended the deadline which was originally the 31st of July to the 6th of August, no matter whether claimants renew online or over the phone. HMRC have decided to make this decision due to people facing long delays trying to get through to its renewal phone line because of industrial action. As the deadline approaches, the phones traditionally get a lot busier.
The Public and Commercial Services Union has been staging action to highlight its concerns about staff shortages.
For the first time this year, HMRC has been offering people the chance to renew their tax credits online. They can do this by using either the website or the HMRC app which is available on iTunes or the Google Play store. Those who wish to renew by phone are put through to an automated line, or you can renew by post.
Tax Credits are a form of benefits split into two categories: Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits. Child Tax Credits are for people responsible for children and Working Tax Credits are for those on lower incomes. Some people get both.
Starting from April, HMRC has sent almost six million renewal packs, asking people to act as soon as they get one. In the packs, HMRC asks the claimants to check the accuracy of their claim and to provide any information about any changes in circumstances which has not already been reported. This could include their income or childcare costs.
A HMRC spokesperson said that the body was ‘very disappointed’ by the timing of the PCS to organise a strike to coincide with the tax renewal deadline.