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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 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:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service 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 see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. 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.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.