30 November 2021

Tax credits - post office card accounts (POCa)

HMRC have announced extra time for peple to switch their accounts. The message reads:

HMRC customers with Post Office card accounts given extra time to switch accounts 

Customers who currently receive HMRC benefit payments into a Post Office card account will be given extra time to switch their account, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed. 

HMRC recognises the vital financial support tax credits, Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance can provide to individuals and families; and wants to give them every opportunity possible to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. 

The department has arranged a one-off extension to the contract with the Post Office which means customers will have until 5 April 2022 to provide alternative account details to HMRC. This means that the 13,000 customers, who are still to notify HMRC, will temporarily be able to continue to receive their payments into their Post Office account, giving them extra time to set up new accounts and notify the department. 

HMRC is still encouraging those benefitting from the extension to switch their account at the earliest opportunity. Around 137,000 customers have already provided updated bank account details. 

Customers can choose to receive their benefit payments to a bank, building society or credit union account. If they already have an alternative account, they can contact HMRC now to update their details. 

Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance customers can use their Personal Tax Account to provide revised account details, change their bank account details via GOV.UK or by contacting the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100. Tax credits customers can change their bank account details by contacting the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900. If customers cannot open a bank account, they should contact HMRC. 

The Money Helper website, provided by the Money Advice and Pensions Service, offers information and advice about how to choose the right current account and how to open an account

HMRC has been contacting customers recently to urge them to take action and will continue to contact them to remind them. 

HMRC urges everyone to be alert if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. Customers should always type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to access the correct HMRC contact information. HMRC sees high numbers of fraudsters emailing, calling or texting people claiming to be from the department. If in doubt, HMRC advises not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact them straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.