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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Changes - death (Child): death of a child identified in the national media - Priority 1 team only

Required information

Notification from an approved website national home page of a child’s death.

Background / Introduction

The Benefits and Credits Priority 1 Team check an approved national website home page every day for reports of children who have died. The team will check tax credits claims and Child Benefit (ChB) awards which include the child, and arrange for the benefits to be updated if so, and the customer notified of the action we have taken.

Tax Credits and ChB are payable for eight weeks after a child’s date of death including where a customer’s spouse / partner is apparently responsible for the death. Only cases where a conviction or an offence has been made should be referred to Legislative Advice Team (LAT).

Note: If the child is a qualifying young person in full-time non-advanced education and turns 20 during this eight week run on period, entitlement will cease at the earlier date, that is when they turn 20.

Note: From 5 December 2005, we use partner to mean a person the customer is married to, a civil partner or a person they are living with as if they are married, or as a civil partner.

Note: Only deaths that are reported on the approved national website news homepage can be considered. Local media websites can be used afterwards to clarify further details already obtained from the approved national website.

Note: During a phone call with the customer, if they have an enquiry about tax, explain you are unable to deal with their query and transfer the call to the Needs Enhanced Support (NES) Team who will be able to help. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) If you are unable to get through to the NES Team, complete the Needs Enhanced Support (NES) Handover Form, held in the Priority 1 team Controlled Access Folder, noting the customer’s preferred time for call back(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) . The NES Team will arrange to call the customer back.

Note: Before making any changes, you must follow the guidance in TCM0138020. Then, if the change can be made, follow this guidance.

Note: As ChB awards which include the child will also need updating, you must follow the guidance in CBM089000 at the same time as you action the tax credits claim.

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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 or Data Security Team for advice.

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: All children/qualifying young persons should be added to the award. Customers will still receive the childcare and/or disability element for all children/qualifying young persons if they are entitled, even if they are not in receipt of the child element.

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.

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Step 1

If you are dealing with a media report of the death of a child

  • make a note of the following details of the child
    • child’s full name
    • child’s age
    • child’s date of death
    • parents’ names
    • address, this could be the general area or location rather than the home address
  • go to Step 2.

If you are dealing with a four week expired BF, go to Step 5.

If you have referred the case to your manager for advice on how to proceed with the case, go to Step 6.

If you have contacted DWP Bereavement Team, go to Step 7.

If you have referred the case to your Grade 7 manager to make a decision on the claim, go to Step 8.

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Step 2

Check if there is an existing tax credits claim.

Note: The Priority 1 Team use various sources to verify the child including Access to DWP Data (ADD), and Tell Us Once. Currently, the team also use CBOL however, from February 2018, Child Benefit computer systems will be replaced by HMRC IT systems.

If there is an existing tax credits claim, go to Step 3.

If there is not an existing tax credits claim

  • record the information you have noted at Step 1 onto the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • take no further action.

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Step 3

Check if the child is included in the tax credits claim.

If the child is included in the tax credits claim, go to Step 4.

If the child is not included in the tax credits claim

  • record the information you have noted at Step 1 onto the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • take no further action.

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Step 4

View Standardised Messages to check if the death has already been notified.

Note: Standardised Message ‘NP01’ is usually used for this.

If the death has already been notified

  • record the information you have noted at Step 1 onto the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • continue business as usual action following the guidance in TCM0038160.

If the death has not already been notified

  • record the information you have noted at Step 1 onto the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • make a note on the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet of a four week BF date
  • take no further action.

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Step 5

Check the tax credits computer or the system containing ChB information to see if we have been notified of the child’s death.

If the death has been notified

  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • continue business as usual action following the guidance in TCM0038160.

If the death has not been notified

  • check all available systems for example, the system containing ChB information, ADD and the internet to see if there is more information available about the child’s death to help you to be sure you have traced the right child
  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • refer the case to your manager for an accuracy check and advice on how to proceed with the case
  • take no further action.

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Step 6

If your manager is satisfied the correct child has been traced

  • email the DWP Bereavement Team to check whether the child’s death can be verified giving as much information as you can about the child and their parents including
    • child’s name
    • date of birth
    • date of death
    • parents’ names
    • parents’ National Insurance numbers
    • address or location

Note: In the subject title state ‘Death of child’. Do not provide any specific details about the child or their parents in the title.

Note: A Data Movement Request has been agreed for this.

  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • BF the case for two weeks to await a reply
  • take no further action.

If your manager is not satisfied the correct child has been traced

  • continue action as directed
  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • take no further action.

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Step 7

If DWP Bereavement Team have verified the death

  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • continue business as usual action following the guidance in TCM0038160.

If DWP Bereavement Team have not verified the death or have not replied

  • refer the case to your Grade 7 manager to consider whether the child can be removed from the claim
  • take no further action.

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Step 8

If your Grade 7 manager directs you to remove the child from the claim

  • follow the guidance in TCM0038160 from Step 10 onwards
  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet
  • refer the case to your manager to carry out a final quality check
  • take no further action.

If your Grade 7 manager does not direct you to remove the child from the claim

  • continue action as directed
  • update the ‘High Profile’ spreadsheet with the action you have taken
  • refer the case to your manager to carry out a final quality check
  • take no further action.