It is fast approaching the end of the tax year when Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit claims will finish for the year and need to be renewed.
HMRC have set a deadline for all tax credit claims to be renewed before 31st July 2014.
It is important to beat the rush and both HMRC and DWP are encouraging people to renew their claims as soon as they receive their renewal notice. HMRC contact centres are very busy in the week leading up to the deadline so if claimants call to renew their claim, they could be facing a lengthy wait.
People who claim means tested benefit such as Income Support, Income Related Employment & Support Allowance, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit for the whole of the 2013/14 tax year will have their award renewed automatically. However this does not mean that they can relax, they still need to check their award and make sure there are no mistakes. If there are any changes, they must contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 immediately.
It is important to remember that any failure to report a change of circumstance can lead to overpayments of benefits which is normally recoverable unless a claimant has done everything in their power to notify HMRC.
Under Code of Practice 26, a claimant can only appeal if they think the amount of tax credits they were awarded was wrong. They must normally do this within 30 days of the date shown on the decision notice.
Our Pro Bono criteria has also recently been extended to assist with any overpayments over £5,000 so if you would like advice and assistance with your benefit appeal, our Welfare team can help.
By Ngaryan Li, Solicitor in the Pro Bono team