Tax Credits: How to notify changes
Changes can be reported to HMRC in three ways:
The main telephone number is the tax credit helpline: 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909). From abroad, you can ring +44 2890 538 192.
Change of circumstances
Tax Credit Office
HMRC have introduced a digital service which allows claimants to check claim information and their tax credit payments and also report some changes of circumstance on-line, such as adding a child, change of name, change of address, change of bank account and notification from a single claimant that they have a new partner (note, this does not add the new partner to the claim but it will end the single claim and the claimant is responsible for submitting a fresh joint claim if they wish to continue receiving tax credits and are eligible). The tax credit digital service can be found on the GOV.UK website.
For security, claimants need to set-up a Government Gateway account, or use their existing Government Gateway account if they have one for example if they already submit self-assessment on-line. Claimants also need to have a mobile phone (or have access to a mobile phone) so that they can receive a unique 6 digit access code which is sent to them each time they log in to the digital service. Claimants access the digital service using their Government Gateway ID and passcode and their National Insurance number.
Not all changes can be reported on-line but HMRC are developing this service during 2016 and expect to add further enhancements.
Given the potential consequences of overpayments and penalties if changes are reported late, it is crucial that records are kept when changes are reported.
For calls to the helpline, it is recommended that claimants record the date, time, operator name and brief details of the call.
For letters sent to the Tax Credit Office it is recommended that a copy of each letter is kept and that it is sent recorded delivery (requiring a signature) as a minimum. At the very least a proof of posting should be obtained. Claimants should also ensure they check each award notice carefully to ensure the latest change has been recorded. If it hasn’t they must inform HMRC within 30 days that their award notice is incorrect.
Where claimants notify changes on-line, they should receive an acknowledgement as they complete the on-line submission and we recommend printing a copy of this acknowledgement.
Additional information about changes of circumstances
The HMRC tax credit technical manual contains a section about changes of circumstances. Specifically for information about:
- Effective date of changes in circumstances
- Effective date of change – disability and severe disability element cases WTC
- Effective date of change – disability and severe disability element cases CTC
HMRC have confirmed that where a claimant is notifying HMRC that a young person who appears on their claims for both child tax credit and child benefit is either staying on or leaving full-time non-advanced education or approved training, the notification to either the tax credit helpline or the child benefit helpline will be updated on both child benefit and tax credit records. However, as this is just an internal administrative arrangement, claimants should not rely on this option and must still check that their awards are correct and notify both child benefit office and tax credit office separately.
Updated 23 May 2016