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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

End of year: Notices and Entitlement Periods

Some individuals or couples may have had more than one award of tax credits during the year. This could be for a variety of reasons, including

  • An entitlement may have both ended and recommenced during the year - for example, where a claimant , who is not responsible for children works the qualifying number of hours at the beginning of the year, then the hours fall below the qualifying threshold, then increase again to meet the threshold; or where a couple splits up and gets together again
  • A person may have claimed both as an individual and as a member of a couple
  • A person may have been a member of more than one couple
  • The NTC system will issue a separate S17 notice in respect of each award period. A S18 decision must always be made when a S17 notice has been issued. If there have been multiple S17 notices, the NTC system will not be able to link the various notices in order to issue a single S18 decision for each entitlement. It will therefore send a S18 decision in respect of each one
  • Chris works 33 hours a week in a call centre, on a relatively low wage, when he makes his tax credits claim in 2005 and is awarded WTC. On 1 June 2007 he notifies us that he will be travelling abroad for three months from 2 June, and his award is terminated. On 10 September 2007 he returns to the UK, and on 15 September he begins work as a self employed builder. He claims tax credits, and is awarded WTC from 15 September 2007 to 5 April 2008
  • In April 2008 the NTC system issues separate S17 notices in respect of both periods, stating the first specified date to be 31 July 2008 (with provisional payments for 2008/09 due to cease at that date if there has been no response by then) and the second specified date to be 31 January 2007. Chris responds to the notices as follows

    • 06/04/2007 - 01/06/2007 (period 1) - on 11/07/2008 he reports his actual employed income for the entire year and his estimated self employed income for the entire year
    • 15/09/2007 - 05/04/2008 (period 2) - on 11/07/2008 he reports his actual employed income for the entire year, and his estimated self employed income for the entire year
  • Note that, although Chris has been sent two notices, and is required to respond separately to each, the income details he is asked to provide are identical for both periods - i.e. in each case the income he needs to report is for the entire year, not just for the period of the award
  • Because the NTC system cannot link the two award periods, it will issue separate, interim (because Chris’ figures included estimated amounts) S18 decisions in respect of each