The renewals process acts as a new claim for 2012/13 and also finalises your tax credit award for the last tax year (to 5 April 2012). Not everyone is required to take action, but claimants who received an annual review form and declaration form were required to give HMRC their 2011/12 income figures (actual or estimate) and confirm their circumstances by 31 July.
If you did not contact HMRC by 31 July 2012, either by returning the declaration and review forms by post or by contacting the helpline, you will receive from HMRC a ‘statement of account’ telling you that they have stopped your payments. In addition, HMRC will ask for all of the tax credits paid since the start of 2012/13 tax year (from 6 April 2012) to be repaid to them.
But as long as you contact HMRC within 62 days of the date on the statement of account, HMRC will process the renewal and reinstate your 2012/13 claim back to April. If you are self-employed and do not yet have final details for last year, you can give an estimate as long as you either confirm the estimate, or file accurate figures, by 31 January 2013.
If you miss the 62-day grace period (which, for 2011/12, HMRC have extended by concession from 30 days), you can only renew and secure your entitlement for the whole of 2012/13, if you:
- have ‘good cause’ for your failure to renew so far, and
- complete your renewal by 31 January 2013.
If good cause doesn’t apply, HMRC will ask you to repay all payments made to you from the start of the tax year, and you will need to make a new claim for tax credits which can only be backdated 31 days.
If you have missed the deadline, contact HMRC as soon as possible. Telephone the Tax Credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 (the Textphone number, for those with impaired hearing or speech, is 0345 300 3909).
If you no longer wish to claim tax credits or don’t currently claim tax credits but might be entitled to them, particularly if your personal or financial circumstances have changed, our article ‘Tax credits and the new tax year – changes and renewals’ tells you more about what to do.
Contact: Victoria Todd (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)