Tax credits customers need to let HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) know of any changes in their circumstances – such as a partner moving in – as this can affect the amount of money they receive.
HMRC estimates that around 1 in 10 claimants have not told it about a partner who has moved in with them. Those who don’t keep HMRC up to date about their circumstances risk getting an overpayment, a fine or possibly a criminal prosecution.
Nick Lodge, HMRC’s Director General for Benefits and Credits, said:
Anyone claiming tax credits and moving in with a new partner should get in touch with HMRC.
Moving in together can be a busy time, but make sure you don’t forget to tell the taxman or you could end up facing a penalty or even a prosecution.
Equally, should a couple decide it is not quite “happily ever after”, and separate, the claimant should call the taxman again, as a single claimant could be entitled to more money.
The best way to avoid a tax credits overpayment or underpayment is to tell HMRC about any changes to circumstances when they happen. HMRC is urging customers to let it know of any changes on 0345 300 3900 as soon as they take place.
Further information is available on the tax credits pages of HMRC’s website