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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:

  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 citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  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.