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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Child Benefit and Tax Credits: Some But Not All Information Provided

There are a variety of scenarios and each may result in you taking a different course of action.

Example 1

You are undertaking an examination which includes eligibility for Child Benefit and hours worked.

The claimant provides information about hours worked which show that the claim is excessive. No information is supplied about the child or children.

You should ask the claimant again for the information specifying a shorter period of a minimum of 15 days if the request can be easily complied with. You should always tell the claimant the date by which you expect them to have sent the details requested. You should use your judgement in deciding how much time to allow, taking into account the nature and volume of the information. Always be specific: don’t ask for information “within 15 days”, but say “by 31 August 2004; by 15 December 2004, etc.”. This way the claimant will be left in no doubt, and you will be better able to track the progress of the case.

You may do this in writing or by telephoning the claimant. You should advise the claimant that you may amend the award and suspend payment of child benefit if the information is not received.

You should then consider what action to take as described above.

If you decide that the information you hold will enable you to revise the tax credit award, but not the child benefit decision you should close your examination or enquiry and send the letter at CCM21710.

If the information is not received within 15 days you should suspend payment of child benefit and terminate the award one month later.

Example 2

As in Example 1, but the claimant provides information which shows that one of the children left full time education a year ago. No information is supplied about the hours worked.

The child benefit award should be superseded immediately as otherwise any payments made subsequent to the receipt of the information cannot be recovered.

You should ask the claimant again for the information specifying a shorter period of a minimum of 15 days if the request can be easily complied with. You should always tell the claimant the date by which you expect them to have sent the details requested. You should use your judgement in deciding how much time to allow, taking into account the nature and volume of the information. Always be specific: don’t ask for information “within 15 days”, but say “by 31 August 2004; by 15 December 2004, etc.”. This way the claimant will be left in no doubt, and you will be better able to track the progress of the case.

You should send the letter at CCM21700 to the child benefit claimant and a similar letter with the references to child benefit removed to any joint claimant.

If the information is not received within the time specified you should make a decision on whether the tax credit award should be revised as above.