The Tax Credits 31 July is an important deadline, partly because it renews the claim for the current year, partly because it also confirms the claim for the previous year and partly because, if you miss the deadline, usually the payments will stop and HMRC will write to you to ask for its money back from the beginning of the tax year.
We think HMRC ‘done good’ this year by extending the filing deadline by a few days because of the industrial action around 31 July.
HMRC has advised us that:
“This year has seen a record lowest number of outstanding renewals. 455,000 failed to renew this year, down from 650,000 in 2013. Not everyone will renew their tax credits as those whose circumstances have changed may no longer be eligible but since tax credits will stop if they are not renewed, we’re urging people to ring us on 0345 300 3900.”
Since HMRC ‘done good’, we shall overlook that HMRC should be asking everyone to go through the renewals process if only to validate the previous year’s claim.
It is important to note that all is not lost if you have missed the deadline: there is a procedure for getting the current year claim back on track, without necessarily losing any payments. HMRC will soon be issuing statements to claimants, warning that payments have been suspended. Provided claimants contact HMRC to renew within 60 days of the date of the statement, the claim will be re-instated in full.
In line with HMRC’s recommendation that people take action now, there is no need to wait for the statement to arrive before contacting HMRC but the statement does ‘start the clock’ for the 60-day limit. Our esteemed colleagues at the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group have helpfully put together some detailed guidance on what to do if you have missed the deadline and we are, as ever, delighted that they can assist.