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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Overview: Claims and Notifiable Changes of Circumstances from 6 April 2007

Claims for tax credits have to be made annually. The amount of the final award will take account of the customer’s circumstances over the course of the year, not just at the beginning. Customers are required to tell us in-year about some changes of circumstances that may affect the amount of the award.

Customers must tell us if:

  • their average weekly childcare charges change so that they are

    • less than the average weekly charge by £10.00 a week or more (if fixed weekly costs for at least 4 weeks)
    • nil

(see CCM6315 for information on how to calculate whether there has been a change in average weekly childcare charges)

  • they become, or cease to be, a member of a couple
  • they (or their partner) leave the UK permanently, or go abroad for more than 8 weeks (12 weeks if they remain abroad because they are ill or because a member of their family is ill or has died)
  • their usual working hours change so that they work less than 16 or 30 hours a week. For couples with children it is their joint working hours that count towards the 30 hours
  • they have been on strike for more than 10 days
  • one of their children leaves the family and moves to live with someone else. This includes a child who has been:

    • taken into care or fostered to another family
    • found guilty by a court and sentenced to custody or detention for a period of 4 months or more

NOTE - In England and Wales a young person under 18 yrs of age is treated as being ‘looked after’ if placed on remand in local authority care. The local authority is therefore responsible for accommodating and providing the cost of the accommodation. Once the period on remand has ceased, normal responsibility conditions will apply.

  • a child or young person they are responsible for stops qualifying for support, for example the child or young person:

    • leaves non-advanced full-time education or approved training before they reach 20
    • starts to have their training provided under a contract of employment
    • stops being registered with a careers service , or the Connexions Service / Local Authority Support Service or equivalent
    • starts to claim Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit in their own right
    • dies.

From 6 April 2007 customers must tell us within 1 month of the date:

  • on which the change of circumstances occurs
  • the customer first becomes aware of the change of circumstances and this is later

Any overpaid tax credits will still be calculated from the date the change happened.

For example if a customer’s usual working hours dropped to less than 30 hours on the 12 November 2007, but because the number of hours they work each week varies so much that they did not realise until 2 December 2007 that there had been a change:

  • they must report the change by 1 January 2008
  • their award will be adjusted to reflect their new usual hours from 12 November and they will have to repay any overpaid tax credits

If the customer does not tell us within the time limit we can charge a penalty. See CCM10000 for more information on penalties.