For most people, the deadline to renew tax credits is on the horizon - and failing to do it on time could have serious consequences.
Here’s when the deadline is and how to renew your tax credits online.
When is the deadline to renew my tax credits?
For most people, the deadline to renew tax credits is 31 July 2020 - but you should refer to the date shown on your renewal pack, as it may be different.
If you’re claiming tax credits, you’ll be sent a renewal pack that tells you how to renew them - if the pack has a red line across the first page that says “reply now”, then you’ll need to renew them.
If instead there is a black line that says “check now”, you’ll need to make sure that your details are correct.
If your details are correct, then you do not need to do anything and your tax credits will be automatically renewed.
You have to tell the HMRC if your circumstances have changed, or anything in your pack is incorrect.
HMRC’s director-general for customer services, Angela MacDonald, said: “We know that many customers leave it to the last minute to renew their tax credits award.
“The time to renew your tax credits is now, you don’t need to wait until deadline day on July 31.”
How do I renew my tax credits?
You can renew your tax credits in one of three ways:
- Online via the government website
- Phoning 0345 300 3900 (lines open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm)
- Post your tax renewal form to the following address: Tax Credit Office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1LR, United Kingdom
No matter how you choose to renew your tax credits, you’ll need the following information:
- Your renewal pack
- Your National Insurance Number
- Details about any changes to your circumstances
- You and your partner’s total income for the last tax year (6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020)
If you’re renewing by phone, you’ll also need the 15 digital renewals reference on your renewal pack.
If you have questions about your tax credit renewals, then you can use the government's web chat for tax credits.
The web chat is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 10pm and on Sunday from 9am to 10pm.
You can access the tax credits webchat online here.
What happens if I don’t renew my tax credits on time?
If you fail to renew your tax credits within the deadline you’ve been given, then your payments will stop.
You’ll then be sent a statement and will have to pay back the tax credits you’ve received since 6 April 2020.
However, if you contact the HMRC within 30 days of the date on your statement, your tax credit claim can be restored and you won’t have to pay anything back.
If you get in touch with the HMRC after 30 days, you’ll be expected to provide “good cause” for the delay before the HMRC considers restoring your claim.
If you fail to get in touch with the HMRC at all, then you will have to pay back your tax credits you’ve received since 6 April 2020, and you’ll only be able to make a new claim for tax credits if you get the severe disability premium, or got it within the past month and are still eligible for it.
You also may be able to apply for either of the following instead:
- Universal credit, if you’re under State Pension age, or your partner is
- Pension credit, if you (and your partner) are over State Pension Age