Urgent warning to parents on alimony deadlines

  • Families have until July 31 to reapply for the tax credit or risk losing thousands
  • If those affected miss the deadline, they may have to pay the money back to HMRC



More than 500,000 Brits have just weeks to reapply for ‘essential’ tax credits or risk being terminated.

Beneficiary parents have until July 31 to check that the information in their renewal package is correct and respond to HMRC – or risk losing up to £3685 per year.

More than 500,000 tax credit customers must reply to HMRC by the 2023 to 2024 tax credit deadline.

Families must have received their renewal package and must notify HMRC of any changes in circumstances that may affect their claim.

Myrtle Lloyd, Director General of Customer Service for HMRC, urged families to re-register. He said: ‘Tax credits provide families with important financial support, so it’s important customers look at their renewal packages and renew before July 31.’

Each renewal letter will have a black line that says ‘check now’, or a red line and says ‘reply now.’

If your letter says ‘check now’, ‘you don’t need to do anything but check that your details are correct.

However, if your letter says ‘reply now’, you must renew the tax credit by July 31, 2023 or risk losing your entitlement.

There are two types of tax credits, the Employment Tax Credit (WTC) paid to people who are working and on a low income, and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) paid to people who have children.

There are different qualifying conditions for WTC and CTC, but you only use one claim.

The exact amount of work tax credit you get depends on your circumstances, but you are entitled to a base amount of up to £2,280 a year.

Then there are additional elements that can elevate your rights. For example, if you are disabled you can earn up to £3,685 a year.

Circumstances you need to report to HMRC:

  • If your life circumstances change
  • A child or spouse dies
  • Your income has increased or decreased by £2500 or more
  • A child stops going to child care for four weeks or more
  • Childcare costs stop or decrease by £10 or more
  • A child leaves the house
  • A child is detained
  • A young person over the age of 16 in your care has left education or its equivalent
  • Your working hours fall before 30 hours per week (combined for pairs)

The quickest way to check and renew your tax credit is online through the government’s website.

You can also update it via the HMRC app or by phone or post. You will need your renewal package, information about any changes to your circumstances and details of your and your spouse’s income for the last tax year (6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023)

If they miss the deadline, benefits may be terminated, and they may even have to pay some money back.

If you don’t renew your tax credit, you will lose your entitlement and you may have to repay any credits you have received since April 2023.

If this applies, HMRC will send you a confirmation letter, entitled TC607.

However, you have 30 days to contact HMRC and explain why you missed the reason for the delay – known as a ‘good cause’ – before they can recover your claim.

HMRC makes decisions on a case-by-case basis, but you may be given until January 2024 to confirm your details.

Tax credit customers will also face another important deadline at the end of 2024, as the tax credit will be replaced by Universal Credit.

The Universal Credit has replaced the tax credit for new claimants, but many families haven’t made the switch.

Customers who receive a tax credit will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) letting them know when to claim their Universal Credit.

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