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The deadline to renew tax credits is less than one month away, with this falling on July 31, 2020. This week, HMRC has issued a reminder to tax credits recipients that they need to tell HMRC about any changes in their circumstances or income by the end of the month.
However, the self-employed, those in receipt of taxable social security benefit, or those who have other income may need to review their total household income and tell HMRC if the income held is incorrect.
HMRC says customers who need to respond to the Annual Review pack must do so by July 31 – otherwise their payments will stop.
HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, Angela MacDonald said: “During these uncertain times, while the UK comes together to combat COVID-19, tax credits payments are a vital source of support for millions of people and their families.
“If you have been contacted by HMRC to provide your income details, I urge you to contact the department before July 31.
“Don’t leave it too late, get in touch and make sure the information we hold is correct.”
Should information that HMRC holds be incorrect or incomplete, then recipients may have to pay back any tax credits that have been overpaid.
Furthermore, they may also need to pay a penalty charge.
With the tax credit awards deadline pending, Mike Parkes, Technical Director at GoSimpleTax, has urged self-employed claimants who need to update HMRC to do so as soon as possible in order to avoid any nasty surprises.
He said: “It’s imperative that you inform HMRC of any updates to your circumstances before July 31 – even if your household income has remained the same, ensure you have confirmed this.
“Many self-employed people have unfortunately had no source of income over the past few months and the last thing you need is to miss out on any further vital payments.
“My advice to those people is record your income and outgoings thoroughly from the next few months.
“If you have had no earnings, or there has been a huge drop off in income, then consider payments on account for 2020/21.
“It’s also worth remembering that if you have claimed through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), the figure is taxable, so it will need to be put on your tax return.”
Mr Parkes also highlighted the importance of people affected ensuring they have taken the required action by the deadline.
“It’s crucial that you are prepared, organised and understand fully what it is HMRC is looking for,” he said.
As well as warning of the deadline, HMRC has also urged members of the public to be aware that criminals may attempt to take advantage of tax credits renewals.
HMRC has warned that fraudsters may offer fake support via text, email or phone.
Worryingly, these scams mimic HMRC messages in an effort to look genuine.
However, there may be a way to spot these types of scams.
If a person texts, emails or calls claiming to be from HMRC, saying that a customer can renew a tax credits award or access financial help, and asks for credit card or bank details, then it’s likely to be a scam.