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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Changes - customer: customer is serving a prison sentence and tax credits is in payment.

Checklist

Before you follow this guidance make sure you

  • have followed the guidance in TCM0138020
    Note: When following TCM0138020 you must ensure you follow TCM0134460 and TCM0134420 when instructed.
  • have the correct user roles to follow this guidance
  • are in the correct MU. Use TCM0322460 for the correct MU number.

Reasons not to follow this guidance

You do not need to follow this guidance if

  • you are dealing with a joint claim
  • the claim is pre award

Background

When a single person receives a custodial sentence and they are in receipt of Child Tax Credit (CTC). They may continue to receive CTC as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Before making a decision as to whether the CTC should continue or stop you must consider all the facts of the case and the circumstances of the child.

Advice received from Legislative Advice Team states that as a general guideline, anything more than a 6 months absence would not be considered ‘temporary’ and the award of CTC would end.

Note: A six month sentence should be considered as a 6 month absence; early release will not be taken into account.

Guidance

Note: When sending customer, staff or process data to another individual or team, make sure you follow the latest data security guidelines or contact the Data Guardian/Data Security Team for advice.

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Step 1

If you are using this guidance for the first time, go to Step 2.

If you have a reply to your enquiries and the child/children are not in Local Authority care, go to Step 3.

If you have a reply to your enquiries and the child/children are in Local Authority care, follow the guidance in TCM0032140.

If you are dealing with an expired action date, go to Step 7.

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Step 2

On receipt of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) referral, Contact Centre Directorate (CCD) ‘custodial sentence’ referral or a letter from the customer

  • complete the TC2009 using the address held on National Tax Credit computer (NTC) from SEES. For how to do this use, TCM1000124
    Note: You will need to complete a TC2009 for each child or qualified young person shown on the award of CTC.
    Note: You will need to select the ‘Helpline’ option when inserting the telephone number.
  • inform CBO that the customer is in prison, include the following information
  • prison name
  • prison number
  • date of sentencing, follow the guidance in TCM0322420
  • update house hold notes with the message ND01 and ND02 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160
  • set an action date of 30 days in the future
  • update the BF cover sheet
  • take no further action.

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Step 3

Before making any changes you must first follow the guidance in TCM0042260 to check whether you can make the changes, then if changes can be made.

It is essential to look at all the information provided, and take all the available evidence into account in order to build up an accurate factual picture of the customers and the child’s circumstances.

Other relevant information that will help you make a decision will include any costs incurred by the parent.

A good indication may include who buys what, such as the child’s food, clothes and other expenses.

The guidance in TCM0114080 must also be considered.

Using all the information available to you and the advice given above you must now make a decision to either continue to pay CTC or to stop CTC.

  • make your CTC decision
  • go to Step 4.

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Step 4

Check whether WTC is in payment

If WTC is in payment,

  • end the WTC from the date of the prison sentence, unless otherwise stated. For how to do this use TCM1000354
  • go to Step 5.

If WTC is not in payment, go to Step 5.

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Step 5

Note: From 6 April 2017, customers will only get the Family Element of Child Tax Credit where they are responsible for a child or children born before that date.

Note: The individual child element of Child Tax Credit will no longer be awarded for third and subsequent children or qualifying young persons in a household, born on or after 6 April 2017, unless it meets the exception criteria.

Note: If you are dealing with a claim where an exception marker has been applied to any of the children/young persons included in the claim or the customer is reporting a change relating to an exception contact the Exception Team (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) . (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) For how to check if the exception marker has been applied, use TCM1000314.

If your decision is to continue paying CTC,

  • update house hold notes with the message NC98 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
  • go to Step 6.

If your decision is to end CTC,

  • end the Child / Children responsibility from the date of the prison sentence, unless otherwise stated. For how to do this, use TCM1000171
  • update house hold notes with the message ND03 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
  • go to Step 6.

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Step 6

Check the customer current address. For how to do this, use TCM1000111.

If the address shown is the prison address,

  • update house hold notes with the message NC82 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
    Note: The prison number must be shown in the address field.
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
  • close the document on DMS. For how to do this, use TCM1000037
  • take no further action.

If the address shown is not the prison address,

  • amend the address details to the prison address. For how to do this, use TCM1000429
  • Note: The prison number must be shown in the address field.
  • update house hold notes with the message NC73 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
  • Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
  • close the document on DMS. For how to do this, use TCM1000037
  • take no further action.

Step 7 {#}

Note: From 6 April 2017, customers will only get the Family Element of Child Tax Credit where they are responsible for a child or children born before that date.

Note: The individual child element of Child Tax Credit will no longer be awarded for third and subsequent children or qualifying young persons in a household, born on or after 6 April 2017, unless it meets the exception criteria.

Note: If you are dealing with a claim where the exception marker has been applied to any of the children/young persons included in the claim contact the Exception Team (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

Check whether WTC is in payment

If WTC is in payment,

  • end the WTC from the date of the prison sentence, unless otherwise stated. For how to do this, use TCM1000354
  • end the Child / Children responsibility from the date of the prison sentence, unless otherwise stated. For how to do this, use TCM1000171
  • update house hold notes with the message ND04 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
  • close the document on DMS. For how to do this, use TCM1000037
  • take no further action.

If WTC is not in payment,

  • end the Child / Children responsibility from the date of the prison sentence, unless otherwise stated. For how to do this, use TCM1000171
  • update house hold notes with the message ND05 from TCM0164020. For how to do this, use TCM1000028
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
  • close the document on DMS. For how to do this, use TCM1000037
  • take no further action.

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