BOSSES at a citizens’ advice bureau are encouraging people not to miss out on payments of tax credits.
Joe Michna, manager of Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau, in Park Road, said if people are receiving tax credits then they can expect to receive an annual renewal pack anytime between now and June 28.
Officials say they are not all sent out at once, so different people will get them at different times, but stress it is “very important” to respond to the renewal pack before the July 31 deadline.
Mr Michna said if a person receives an annual declaration and they fail to reply by the deadline then their tax credit payments will stop and money will have to be paid back to HMRC.
The pack may include an annual declaration form and an annual review notice and if people receive both they must reply by the deadline even if they don’t want to claim tax credits again because the renewal process is also a check that a person has received the right amount for the previous year.
Mr Michna said: “We are issuing this advice and guidance to stress how important it is that people claiming Tax Credits comply with the conditions of HMRC for continuing to get tax credits and to ensure that they do not end up losing their benefits.
“We have had a number of clients who for various reasons have not completed and returned their renewal forms.
“This has meant that they have lost their entitlement to tax credits and also end up with an overpayment for the previous year.”
Mr Michna said it is important people renew their tax credit awards so the Tax Credit Office has the right personal information, knows if anything has changed that could affect the amount, make sure they are paid the correct amount for the coming tax year and check they were paid the correct amount.
He added: “Giving advice and assistance on all aspects of tax credit entitlement is a big area of work for the bureau.
“If local residents need advice and help with completing their renewal forms, they should contact us to arrange an appointment with an advice worker.”
Call the tax credit helpline on 0345 300 3900 or visit www.hmrc.gov.uk
Hartlepool CAB has drop-in sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 9.30am and 3pm.