Tax Credits: How to claim

To be entitled to tax credits you must claim them. There is no entitlement without a claim.

Telephone claims

Now that Universal Credit is fully rolled-out across the UK, HMRC state that most people can no longer make a new claim for tax credits and must claim UC instead. There are some temporary exceptions to this broad rule which mean that some groups will still be able to claim tax credits. There is more information about who can still claim tax credits in our who can claim section.

In January 2019, HMRC stopped issuing tax credit paper claims (paper claims already issued will still be accepted and processed in line with the rules that apply when the completed paper claim is received by HMRC) and the on-line claim form order facility was withdrawn from the GOV.UK website.

Anyone wishing to make a new claim for tax credits from January 2019 onwards must telephone HMRC's tax credits helpline and the claim will be handled by telephone. Helpline advisers may say the individual or couple are not able to make a new claim for tax credits because they do not meet the exception criteria. However, this is not a proper decision and in such a case you should insist that they accept the claim and issue a formal decision which will have appeal rights attached. If they refuse, then you should start the complaints process. You should also seek welfare rights advice as soon as possible as it may be possible to appeal the decision directly to a First-tier Tribunal by arguing that a claim was made (by attempting to make it on the phone) and that HMRC made a decision about whether to award tax credits, under s.14, which does carry appeal rights.

HMRC have confirmed that for those who are unable to contact them directly by telephone due to hearing or speech impairment, they will continue to provide the Next Generation Text service. HMRC's Extra Support Team are able to arrange to deal with customers through face-to-face contact. See our section on contacting HMRC.

Obtaining a paper claim form

Paper claims forms for tax credits are no longer available. The paper claim form was called the TC600. HMRC have also withdrawn the TC600 notes that accompanied the form. You can see the 2018 version of the notes, which include a sample of the most recent form, in our forms, notices and checklists section.

Last reviewed/updated 2 August 2021