Published: 11:50, 26 July 2021
| Updated: 11:56, 26 July 2021
Hundreds of thousands of people are being warned to renew their tax credit claims or risk not getting their payments.
HM Revenue and Customs is warning that 300,000 tax credit customers have less than a week to update applications or they risk their financial support being stopped.
Tax credit payments, which are steadily being replaced with Universal Credit, can provide people with vital financial support but any changes in someone's circumstances, that might affect payments, must be reported to HMRC.
You cannot receive tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time. People have until Saturday, July 31 to update and manage their tax credit claims.
But officials are urging people to not leave the job until the very last minute and complete the renewal as soon as possible through the government website.
Once tax credits customers have completed their renewal, they can use their online account to check its progress and find out when they will hear back from HMRC.
This year says HMRC, about 28,000 customers have also used the official HMRC app to renew their tax credits, with the app making it possible for people to report any tax credit changes, complete the renewal, check their tax credit payments schedule and find out how much they have earned for the year.
Changes in circumstances, which might alter tax credit payments, include different living arrangements, childcare plans, working hours or an increase or decrease in earnings.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: "Tax credits payments can provide our customers with vital financial support. There is just one week left to renew your claim – don’t delay and do it online by searching ‘tax credits’ on GOV.UK."
Households do not need to report any temporary falls in working hours because of coronavirus. Unless their hours have permanently changed, they will continue to be treated as if they are working their normal hours for up to eight weeks after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes. Any self-employed individuals who have claimed a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant will need to declare the grant payments.
Those in receipt of tax credits, child benefit or guardians allowance are also being reminded that Post Office card accounts are closing and from November 30 HMRC will stop making payments into those card accounts. Anyone who receives payments in this way needs to notify HMRC of their new bank account details as soon as possible.
The Post Office has this month launched a Save Our Cash campaign over fears that the UK is steadily moving towards a cashless society as it emerges from the pandemic. You can read more about that here.