Citizens Advice urges people to renew their tax credit claims by 31 July deadline to avoid having to repay money
15 July 2011
National charity Citizens Advice is encouraging everyone who has received tax credits over the last year to check and act on HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) renewal forms by the deadline of Sunday 31 July 2011 to avoid having to repay any money received from 6 April 2011.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice said:
“Shocking HMRC figures show that each yearalmost 200,000 families end up having to pay back money they were entitled to – simply because they didn't complete and return their end-of-year forms. Technically, not returning the paperwork means the money they received in tax credits since April all counts as an overpayment. We know from our own evidence that people find the system really hard to understand, but the main thing you need to know is that if you've claimed tax credits at all over the last year – even if your claim has now stopped – it’s absolutely vital you check your forms and take action. Otherwise youwill have to repay any money you've received since 6 April, and if you're still getting payments, these will stop.
“Renew by posting completed forms, or over the phone by calling the HMRC tax credits helpline.”
If you have any problems filling out the forms you can visit your local Citizens Advice Bureaux. For further information, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Citizens Advice’s top tips for people who receive tax credits are:
- check your annual renewals pack straight away – even if you are no longer getting any money
- fill in your forms carefully and post them. Or call the HMRC tax credits helpline and complete them over the phone: 0845 300 3900 – Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm; Saturday, 8am-4pm
- act now to help avoid an overpayment and to ensure you’re getting the right amount.
If you haven't received your renewal pack contact the HMRC tax credit helpline.
For a summary of Citizens Advice research on tax credit renewal problems see ‘Tax credits: A time to renew’: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/evidence-journal
For more information about the tax credits annual review pack, go the Directgov website at: www.direct.gov.uk.
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
- Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.