More than 300,000 tax credits customers have just over one week to renew their claims before the 31 July deadline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned.

As the deadline approaches, customers are being urged not to leave their renewal until the last minute and risk their payments being stopped. The quickest and easiest way to complete a renewal is via GOV.UK.

Customers can manage their tax credits online. 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, about 28,000 customers have used the official HMRC app on their smartphone to renew their tax credits. The app allows customers to:

 report any tax credits changes and complete their renewal
 check their tax credits payments schedule, and
 find out how much they have earned for the year.

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.”

Customers do not need to report any temporary falls in their working hours as a result 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 News Release Scheme closes. Any self-employed individuals who have claimed a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant will need to declare the grant payments. Search ‘working out your income for tax credit/self-employment’ on GOV.UK.

But if there is a change in a customer’s circumstances that could affect their tax credits, they must report the changes to HMRC. These include changes to:

 living arrangements
 childcare
 working hours, or
 income (increase or decrease).

Post Office card accounts are closing. From 30 November 2021, HMRC will stop making payments of Child Benefit, Guardians Allowance and tax credits into Post Office card accounts. HMRC is reminding any tax credits and Child Benefit customers who use this account to receive their payments that they will need to notify HMRC of their new bank account details. HMRC is encouraging customers to act now so they do not miss any payments once their Post Office account closes. They can contact HMRC’s helpline (0345 300 3900), update their details while renewing tax credits or use their Personal Tax Account.

To find out how to open a bank account, visit Citizens Advice.

**** HMRC is also urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. The department sees a high number of fraudsters calling, texting or emailing people claiming to be from HMRC. If in doubt, HMRC advises customers not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’. ****

By Ed

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