They are urged to act as soon as they receive a renewal pack from HMRC. More than 3.3 million claimants renewed by the deadline last year, 80 per cent of those who were required to renew their claim.
The department is also asking claimants to double-check the accuracy of the information in the pack. HMRC may make follow-up queries with claimantsí employers, to check on the correctness of some of the information.
Claimants must also let HMRC know of any changes in their circumstances that they havenít already reported during the year. These could be about their working hours, childcare costs or pay. If asked, they must also provide details of the previous yearís income.
Having the right documents to hand will help reduce errors when they are filling out the form or calling the tax credits helpline. These would be, for example, payslips, end of year P60 forms and childcare details.
HMRCís Director of Benefits and Credits, Steve Lamey, said:
People should aim to renew their tax credits as soon as they receive their pack, and they need to make sure their details are correct. The sooner they renew, the sooner we can make sure they are getting the right money.
Our message is - renew early, renew accurately and renew on time. If claimants donít renew their claims before 31 July, payments may stop.
2013 will see the introduction of Universal Credit, which will by 2017 see the migration of all our Tax Credit customers to that benefit. It is therefore even more important that customers ensure that the data that we hold about their claim is accurate prior to their migration to Universal Credit.
Claimants can get help and information on tax credit renewals from:
the DirectGov website at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/TaxCredits/Keepingyourtaxcredits uptodate/Renewingtaxcreditsclaim/index.htm The tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900
Claimants need to be aware of important changes to tax credits that took effect from 6 April. These include a lower income limit for Child Tax Credit. For couples with at least one child, there are new working hours rules for Working Tax Credit. How far payments can be backdated is also changing. Claimants can find out about these and other changes at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcreditsbudget/index.htm .
Notes for editors
The tax credits helpline number is 0345 300 3900. Follow HMRC on Twitter at: @HMRCgovuk
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HM Revenue & Customs
Phone: 020 7147 0394
HMRC Out of Hours
Phone: 07860 359544