MILLIONS of people have just one week left to renew their tax credits or they could risk losing out on thousands of pounds.
Miss the July 31 2019 deadline, and you’ll also be moved off the tax credits system and onto Universal Credit instead, which could leave you worse off.
There are two types of tax credit – working tax credit and child tax credit – and around 2million people currently get them, according to HMRC.
While most new claimants can no longer get the benefit as it’s been replaced by Universal Credit, it’s important those with it renew their claim.
Working tax credit is a benefit given to those in work, while child tax credit is for families with kids – whether they’re working or not.
Whether you qualify and how much money you receive depends on your income and your situation.
How to renew your tax credits
YOU can renew tax credits online at Gov.uk, via the HMRC app, by phone or by post.
Renewing online is quick and easy to do.
Once you’ve started the process you can log into Gov.uk to check on the progress of a renewal, and find out when you’ll hear back from HMRC.
Customers can also use the HMRC app on their smartphone to:
- renew their tax credits
- check their tax credits payment schedule
- find out how much they have earned for the year
You can also renew by phone on 0345 300 3900.
To renew, you’ll need:
- your renewal pack – if you didn’t get a renewal pack by 21 June 2019, contact HMRC
- your national insurance number
- details about any changes to your circumstances
- you and your partner’s total income for the last tax year (6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019)
- the 15-digit renewals reference number on your renewal pack – if you’re renewing by phone
But the basic amount for working tax credit is £1,960 a year, while the basic amount for child tax credit – also known as the “family element” is up to £545, plus up to £2,780 for each non-disabled child (disabled children get more).
With working tax credit, you need to work a certain number of hours every week, and your income has to fall below a certain level.
The level varies depending on your age, whether you’re single or not and whether you have children.
So someone aged 25- to 59-years-old with no disabilities and no children needs to work at least 30 hours a week, whereas someone over 60 only needs to work 16 hours.
The government has a handy calculator to help work out how much you should receive.
Who needs to renew?
Anyone who needs to renew should have received a pack in the post. There are two different types of pack, and what you need to do depends on which one you got.
Over 2million Brits received a red-striped pack which means you must renew your credits before the July 31 or you will be one of the people who loses the benefit.
The other kind of pack comes with a black stripe across the front. These are auto-renewals and were sent to 2.8million people.
If you received one of these, all you need to do is review the information and check it is correct.
If any of the information is wrong, you must let HMRC know, otherwise you do not need to do anything.
If you haven’t received a pack, but you think you should have, call the tax credit helpline on 0345 300 3900.
What happens if I don’t renew in time?
Because the government is replacing tax credits with the new Universal Credit system, anyone who misses the tax credit deadline will not be able to reapply for the benefit.
Instead, affected families will have to apply for Universal Credit if they are eligible.
Only those who get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it can submit a new claim for working or child tax credits.
The problem with Universal Credit is that even if your application is successful, there is usually a five-week wait before any benefits are paid.
That’s why The Sun is campaigning for the five-week wait to be reduced to two as part of our Make Universal Credit Work campaign.
If you don’t renew your tax credit in time you may also have to pay back any money you received in April, May, June and July – after the new tax year started.
The amount you end up owing will depend on how much you get, but it could easily run into the thousands.
For example, someone who received child tax credit for two children would have been paid around £2,000 over this period.
It is not clear whether this would have to be paid back immediately to HMRC or could be paid back in instalments.
We have asked the government for clarification and will update this story when we know more.
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