13 August 2021

Post office card account (POCa)

From 30 November 2021, HMRC will no longer make any tax credit or child benefit payments into post office card accounts (POCa). Anyone who uses POCa for their payments must provide HMRC with different bank account details otherwise their payments will stop.

HMRC are writing to claimants to explain what they need to do and their options and have issued the following message:

'Important changes to your Post Office card account

From 30 November 2021, HMRC will stop making payments of Child Benefit, Guardians Allowance and tax credits, into Post Office card accounts.

To ensure you can still get your payment you will have to provide a different account to receive your money. You will have received a letter from HMRC and maybe DWP explaining your next steps. You need to tell HMRC which bank, building society or credit union account they should pay money into. You can contact HMRC through their helplines or login on to your Personal Tax Account (PTA) or search GOV.UK

If you’re also receiving payments into a Post Office card account from another Government Department, we’ll share the account details you’re giving us.

What will happen to my Child benefit or tax credit payments after 30 November 2021?

Your Child Benefit and or tax credits payments will stop if HMRC do not hold an alternative account for you. You must tell HMRC which account they should now pay your money into instead.  

What do I need to do now?

You can contact HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3100 for Child Benefit or 0345 300 3900 for Tax Credits to talk about the options available to you.

You can find out more about the letter you will receive and the steps you need to take on the Post Office website. Click onto this Post Office webpage, scroll down and select “Changes to your account”

How to choose a different bank account

Most current or basic accounts from UK banks, building societies and credit unions will already accept automated payments for your Child Benefit or tax credits.

This could be a current account from a bank, building society or credit union or a basic bank account that does not charge any fees.

If HMRC already holds an alternative acceptable bank account for you, HMRC will be writing to you to advise that they will use this account for your benefit or tax credits. If you want to use a different account, you must let HMRC know within 30 days of receiving the letter, or you can contact them now with your preferred account details.

If you are not sure what bank account is best for you, you can call our Money Advice Line on 0800 138 7777 (English) or 0800 138 0555 (Welsh). For Typetalk dial 18001 0800 915 4622. All our contact information can be found on this page.'

UPDATE: DWP have extended their contract with the Post Office for POCA until 2022 - however HMRC have not