You may be eligible for tax credits if you are responsible for a minimum of one kid or young person, or if you are working, but getting a low income. Your tax credits can increase, decrease or stop because of changes in your life or work. You must inform the tax credit office of these changes.
Types of changes you may must report
You should report changes when you begin a new job or if your work hours are altered. A decrease or increase in income by more than £2,500 must also be reported as soon as possible. You also must get in touch with the tax office once your state benefits begin, stop or change. Apart from changes in your income, you also have to report changes in your family’s circumstances, like when you get a permanent separation or divorce, live-in with a new partner, have a new born baby, or when a child or partner dies. If you are planning on going on a holiday overseas for eight weeks or more, or if you will be leaving the UK permanently, you also have to call the tax office.
Why it is important to report changes?
Failing to report changes to the tax credit office can result to an overpayment. If you are overpaid from the date of the change, you could be instructed to pay this back. You may even face a penalty as high as £300 if you have been overpaid. It can also mean losing out on money that you may qualify for because of a change in your situation. It is important to remember that even if you can report such changes later on, increases can typically be backdated by up to only 1 month.
How to report changes
You could report changes by getting in touch with the tax credit helpline. You can’t report most changes until they actually take place. Sadly, it is not yet permitted to report changes for tax credits through email or online, unless you’re changing address or reporting to claim a child benefit.
The HMRC strives to pick up your call as fast as possible. However, because of the number of calls that they receive, you may sometimes be placed in a queue. Your call will be responded to once an operator becomes available, but if you need a full and faster service, you can use this tax office number.