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If your tax credits have stopped

This advice applies to England

Your working tax credits or child tax credits might have stopped because:

  • you didn’t report a change in circumstances - see changes that could affect your tax credits for what you need to report
  • you didn’t complete your annual review in time
  • you didn’t reply when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) wrote to check details of your claim - known as a ‘compliance check’ 
  • HMRC looked at your annual review or compliance check and decided you no longer qualify for tax credits

Food banks and help with other emergency expenses

It can take a few months to get your tax credit payments started again. If you don’t have enough to live on while you wait, you can get emergency help with things like food or items you need for your house - for example a bed or cooker.

See food banks and help with other emergency expenses for how to apply.

HMRC should have written to tell you that your tax credits are being stopped. The letter will say something like ‘you’re no longer entitled to tax credits’ and should tell you why. You should also have been sent a final award notice shortly after this letter. 

If you can’t find the letter, you can call the tax credits helpline to find out why your tax credits have stopped. 

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax credits helpline

Telephone: 0345 300 3900

Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0345 300 3900

You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.

If you're calling outside of the UK: +44 2890 538 192

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Telephone (Welsh language): 0300 200 1900

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm

Your call is likely to be free of charge if you have a phone deal that includes free calls to landlines - find out more about calling 03 numbers.

Make a note of the date and time you call. Also write down the name of the person you spoke to and the HMRC office they work in - for example Preston or Belfast. You might need these details when you ask for your tax credits to start again. 

Challenging HMRC’s decision to stop your tax credits

If you disagree with HMRC’s reasons for stopping your tax credits, you can ask them to change the decision. For example, if they stopped your tax credits because they think you’re living with a partner when you’re not. 

To do this, you’ll need to ask for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. See challenging a working or child tax credits decision for how to ask for one.

Making a new claim while you’re challenging a decision

You can only make a new tax credits claim in certain circumstances.

If you made a claim for tax credits in the last tax year, you might be able to make a new claim. You should talk to an adviser to find out if you can.

If you’re able to, you can make a new tax credits claim while waiting for a mandatory reconsideration but you should check with a Citizens Advice adviser first. They’ll look at your circumstances to see if you’ll get a payment sooner by making a new claim or if you’ll be worse off. 

Claiming other benefits

You might be able to make a new claim for Universal Credit. You can check if you can claim Universal Credit

If you claim Universal Credit:

  • you won’t be able to claim tax credits again, even if HMRC decides they shouldn’t have stopped paying you

  • other benefits you get might be stopped

You should get help from your local Citizens Advice before making a claim for Universal Credit.

If you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction

Tell your local authority your tax credits have stopped. You might get more Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

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