Citizens Advice urges people to make it a sprint, not a marathon, to meet the tax credit renewal deadline of 31 July
7 June 2012
As excitement around the Olympics grows, Citizens Advice is sounding the starting gun for everyone who has received tax credits over the last year to get ahead of the game and return their HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) tax credit renewal forms by Tuesday 31 July 2012.
This may not win you a medal, but it will ensure you avoid the hurdles of having to repay any money received since 6 April 2012.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice said:
Shocking HMRC figures show that each year almost 200,000 families end up having to pay back money they were entitled to – simply because theydidn't complete and return their end-of-year forms. By not returning the paperwork, the money people received in tax credits from April all counts as an overpayment.
We know from our own evidence that peoplefind the system really hard to understand, but the main message 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 you could face a gruelling marathon in having to repay any money you've received since 6 April. And if you're still getting payments, these will come to a halt.
Renew by posting completed forms, or over the phone by calling the HMRC tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900.
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. And if you haven't received your renewal pack by 13 June, contact the HMRC tax credit helpline.
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 on 0345 300 3900 and complete them over the phone. This line is open from Monday to Friday (8am-8pm) and Saturdays (8am-4pm). The exact cost of calling this number can be checked by calling your telephone service provider. If you have hearing or speech impairments, the new textphone number is 0345 300 3909.
- Act now to help avoid an overpayment and to ensure you’re getting the right amount.
For more information contact:
Citizens Advice press office on:
For a summary of Citizens Advice research on tax credit renewal problems see ‘Tax credits: A time to renew’:
For more information about the tax credits annual review pack, go the Directgov website at:
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.