Millions yet to renew tax credits

Millions of customers have yet to complete their tax credits renewal a week ahead of the deadline, a report has revealed.

In its latest announcement, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has urged customers to update their tax credits account before 31 July 2018.

Tax credits are state benefits that provide extra money to people responsible for children, disabled workers and other workers on lower incomes.

However, they must be renewed each and every year, as it is a means-tested income.

It advised that taxpayers do so online, as it is the “quickest and easiest way” and avoids waiting in busy telephone queues.

It said more than 59 per cent of customers have renewed online or via the HMRC smart device app.

The tax office also recently launched an Amazon Alexa app which allows taxpayers to ask the virtual assistant about problems they may have with tax credits.

It warned that those experiencing problems with renewing tax credits should seek help immediately, as around 320,000 customers had their payments stopped or altered last year because they missed the deadline to inform HMRC of changes to their circumstances.

This can include changes to working hours, income and childcare costs, it said.

Angela MacDonald, Director General of Customer Services, said: “We’ve improved our services so customers can renew their tax credits at a time that’s convenient to them but the 31 July deadline is fast approaching.

“There is a wealth of support available at all times of the day and night from HMRC via GOV.UK, the app, or Alexa to help customers get their renewal right.

“I urge customers who have yet to renew their tax credits to do so as soon as possible, to avoid their payments being stopped.”