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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

End of year: Section 17 Notice

From 6 April following the year for which they made the tax credit claim, all claimants who received an award will be sent a notice under S17. This includes cases where there was entitlement but the amount payable was £0.00 and cases where the award was terminated during the year.

However, it excludes cases where there was initially an award but it was later found that there was no entitlement for the whole period of the award.

Notices will be issued over a number of weeks, so not all claimants will receive their S17 renewal notice at the same time.

If they have been awarded the family element only of CTC or an award of £0.00, the notice will explain that they do not need to respond unless there has been a change in their circumstances or income. For example, where a single parent has become a member of a couple or if their income has increased or decreased outside of the amounts shown on the notice. The notice tells them if they do not reply they will be deemed to have confirmed there are no changes.

In all other cases, the notice will ask them to confirm on the TC603D that their circumstances for the year are as shown on the TC603R (or report their correct circumstances if different) and provide their actual figure of income for the year. Claimants must respond to the notice by the first specified date, see CCM11040. If a response is required, but has not been received by the first specified date provisional payments of tax credits for the current year will cease.

If the claimant is unable to state their actual income by the first specified date (for example, because they have not yet completed their SA return), they must provide a reasonable estimate of their actual income for the year. Any claimant (not just those who are also SA taxpayers) may report an estimated figure at the first specified date, though it is likely that claimants within SA will form the bulk of those who estimate their income at this point. If the claimant(s) has used an estimated figure they will have to make this clear in their response, by ticking the “E” box on the form. A decision will be issued based on this figure. The claimant then has to provide their actual income by the second specified date, see CCM11050.

If the claimant responds with actual income details before the first specified date they can revise their statement, as long as they do so before the first specified date.

If the claimant initially responds with estimated income details and they then provide actual details, they can revise their statement, as long as they do so before the second specified date.

The response (or deemed response) to the section 17 notice not only finalises the previous year’s award but also forms the basis of their claim for the current year.