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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Changes - death (customer): Death of a customer - Priority 1 team only

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 told to.
  • you have the correct user roles to follow this guidance
  • you are in the correct MU. Use TCM0322460 for the correct MU number
  • you have access to ‘Access To DWP Data’ (ADD) System
  • you have access to the Child Benefit Online (CBOL) System

Reason not to follow this guidance

You should not follow this guidance if you are not working on the Priority 1 team.

Required information

  • Date of Death
  • Executor contact details
  • Bank account details of where any outstanding monies which are due can be paid (if a single person claim)

Background

This guidance is for use only by the Priority 1 team when dealing with the death of a Tax Credit customer.

You may be notified of the customer’s death from a number of sources. For more information about these sources, follow the guidance in TCM0044120.

If a customer dies, the original claim must be finalised. A fresh claim must be made if any of the following are present and eligibility to tax credits remains

  • surviving partner
  • guardian
  • executor (if the executor is taking responsibility of any children who are included on the claim)

Where a customer and child have both died, and the surviving partner is not responsible for the death, entitlement to CTC immediately before the death for the deceased child will be due to the surviving partner. As the original joint claim is finalised on the death of a claimant, any entitlement to the eight week run on for CTC will be made by manual payment.

An executor will manage the customer’s estate following the customer’s death where there is no surviving partner and a Last Will and Testament has been made. In these circumstances the executor will be treated as an appointee.

Note: The deceased’s next of kin or personal representative can also be treated as an appointee.

In all cases where the customer dies, payment will be suspended and computer output inhibited until the Priority 1 team have completed their actions.

If a Tax Credit notification of death is received but no date of death is given, an entry will be created on the Unprocessed Change of Circumstances work list.

If you first become aware of the death of the customer on the Unprocessed Change of Circumstances work list, these Date Of Death work list items will be transferred to the ‘DOD Indicator’ MU. Use TCM0322460 for the correct MU number.

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.

Step 1

If the death relates to current year (CY) go to Step 2

If the death relates to finalised previous year (PY) follow the guidance in TCM0044200.

If the death relates to finalised PY-1 or earlier follow the guidance in TCM0044160.

Step 2

If you have a returned TC1063 or have received executor details by telephone go to Step 3

If you have a returned TC1134 or the BF period for an issued TC1134 has expired go to Step 4

If you have a returned TC661

  • forward correspondence to Physical COC’s teams for them to input income details
  • take no further action

If you can continue to process the claim go to Step 7

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Step 3

If executor details have been provided

  • use Function AMEND APPLICATION, selecting the Correction option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the [OK] button
  • select the ‘payment’ screen
  • input the bank details of the executor/appointee
    • Note: If no bank executor bank details have been provided delete the deceased customer’s bank details to ensure a system generated giro cheque will be issued
    • Note: if the executor or appointee is a solicitor, the bank details cannot be used - delete the deceased customer’s bank details to ensure a system generated giro cheque will be issued
  • select the ‘Appointee’ screen and enter the details of the executor, next of kin, personal representative or guardian in the appropriate appointee fields
  • select [OK]
    • Note: If [OK] isn’t available, make the changes on this screen, go to another screen and select [OK] on that screen.
  • on the amend finish screen select designatory change from the drop down menu
  • select [OK]
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • issue TC661 requesting CY income to the executor using the address details provided
  • take no further action

If TC1063 returned with no information provided

  • send TC1063 to storage
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

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Step 4

If the TC1134 has been returned go to Step 5

If the TC1134 has not been returned go Step 6 

Step 5

If the returned TC1134 confirms the date of death go to Step 7

If the returned TC1134 confirms that the customer is not deceased

  • use Function AMEND APPLICATION, selecting the Correction option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the [OK] button
  • select the relevant Applicants screen and delete the DOD if it has already been applied
  • remove the deceased marker if it has already been applied
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

If the TC1134 has been returned RLS

You should assume that the applicant is deceased and end the household.

  • use Function AMEND APPLICATION, selecting the Change of Circumstances option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the [OK] button
  • select ‘Household’ from the toolbar menu
  • select ‘Details’ from the options available. The Household End Date screen will display
  • enter the RLS date stamp in the Household End Date field
  • select ‘Death of an Applicant’ from the Household End Reason drop down menu
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

If the TC1134 has been returned for a single award but is blank go to Step 6

If the TC1134 has been returned for a joint award but is blank

  • reissue TC1134 to deceased person
  • BF case for 30 days
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

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Step 6

If TC1134 has not been returned

You should assume that the applicant is deceased and end the household.

  • use Function AMEND APPLICATION, selecting the Change of Circumstances option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the [OK] button
  • select ‘Household’ from the toolbar menu
  • select ‘Details’ from the options available. The Household End Date screen will display
  • enter the date of death already entered on the system or the date notification was first received in the Household End Date field
  • select ‘Death of an Applicant’ from the Household End Reason drop down menu
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

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Step 7

Check whether the date of death can be accepted as verified by the surviving partner, executor or appointee or has been verified to level 3 on the Access to DWP Data (ADD) system.

If the date of death can be accepted as verified go to Step 8

If the date of death cannot be accepted as verified

  • issue TC1134
  • BF case for 37 days
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

Step 8

Check if the claim is pre award or post award

If the claim is post award go to Step 9

If the claim is pre award and was submitted prior to one of the customers becoming deceased and date of death has been verified

  • use Function APPLICATION and select Manage Verification Failure from the drop down list
  • if there is a verification failure 1b then complete form TC648 and send it to Compliance and continue with this guidance
  • clear any high risk verification failures. Follow the relevant guidance in TCM0078000.
    • Note: If there were any notes in the Application Notes field of the Summary Information screen that indicated compliance activity do not check for VF’s. Follow the guidance in TCM0138020
  • use Function APPLICATION, selecting the View option and check that the status of the claim is award is ‘award issued’
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • go to Step 9

If you are dealing with a partially captured claim

  • use Function AMEND APPLICATION, selecting the Capture Current option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the [OK] button
  • amend the effective date of the claim to the day after the date of death if not already applied
  • go to the Summary Information screen and clear any entries in the repair box
  • select [OK]
  • select [PROCESS] from the pop up box
  • use Function APPLICATION and select Manage Verification Failure from the drop down list
  • if there is a verification failure 1b then complete form TC648 and send it to Compliance and continue with this guidance
  • clear any high risk verification failures. Follow the relevant guidance in TCM0078000.
    • Note: If there were any notes in the Application Notes field of the Summary Information screen that indicated compliance activity do not check for VF’s. Follow the guidance in TCM0138020
  • use Function APPLICATION, selecting the View option and check that the status of the claim is ‘award issued’
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • take no further action

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Step 9

  • use Function AMEND APPLICATION select the Change of Circumstances option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the [OK] button
  • go to the Applicant Details screen of the customer who has died
  • enter the date of death of the customer in the Date of Death field
  • ensure a tick appears in the Deceased checkbox
    • Note: If there isn’t a tick, select the Deceased checkbox, then a tick will be shown
  • go to Step 10

Step 10

Check whether there are children on the award and whether the deceased customer was employed

If there are children on the award

  • select ‘Child’ screen from the toolbar menu
  • select the children’s names
  • enter the date of death of the customer in the responsibility end date field for each child
    • Note: if there is already an earlier end of responsibility entered for any of the children do not amend
  • select [OK]
  • select the work details screen for the deceased customer
  • enter the date the job ended in the Hours Worked End Date field and in the Main (or Self Employed) Employment Details End Date field (where no date has been provided, use the date of death). Follow the guidance in TCM0050080
  • delete the number of jobs, in the Number Of Paid Jobs field
  • select ‘appointee’ screen
  • update executor details if provided
  • go to Step 11

If there are no children on the award

  • select ‘work’ screen for the deceased customer
  • enter the date the job ended in the Hours Worked End Date field and in the Main (or Self Employed) Employment Details End Date field (where no date has been provided, use the date of death). Follow the guidance in TCM0050080
  • delete the number of jobs, in the Number Of Paid Jobs field
  • select ‘appointee’ screen
  • update executor details if provided
  • go to Step 11

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Step 11

If this is a single award

  • select ‘Household’ from the toolbar menu
  • select ‘Details’ from the options available. The Household End Date screen will display
  • enter the date of the customer’s death in the Household End Date field
  • select ‘Death of an Applicant’ from the Household End Reason drop down menu
  • select [OK]
  • on the pop up Amend Finish screen enter the date the notification of the change was received
  • enter the source of the change
  • enter the reason for the change as ‘Change of Circumstances’
  • select [OK]
  • send TC1063 to deceased customers address
    • Note: You do not need to send TC1063 if executor details were provided
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP05 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer that has died. Where this is the case complete all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

If this is a joint award

  • select the ‘payment’ screen of the customer who has died
  • change the existing bank details to the surviving partners bank details. If not known, change the recipient of the credit from the deceased customer to the surviving partner
  • select ‘Household’ from the toolbar menu
  • select ‘Details’ from the options available. The Household End Date screen will display
  • enter the date of the customer’s death in the Household End Date field
  • select ‘Death of an Applicant’ from the Household End Reason drop down menu
  • select [OK]
  • on the pop up Amend Finish screen enter the date the notification of the change was received
  • enter the source of the change
  • enter the reason for the change as ‘Change of Circumstances’
  • select [OK]
  • go to Step 12

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Step 12

Check whether the surviving partner is living in a closed postcode area and whether they are Pension Credit Qualifying Age (PCQA). For how to do this, use TCM1000628.

If the surviving partner is not living in a closed postcode area, got to Step 13.

If surviving partner is living in a closed postcode area and they are PCQA, go to Step 13.

If the surviving partner is living in a closed postcode area and they are not PCQA, go to Step 18.

Step 13

Check whether the surviving partner has eligibility for tax credits. For how to do this, use TCM1000089.

If the surviving partner has eligibility to tax credits

  • phone the surviving partner to ask if they are willing to complete a new tax credit claim over the phone. Follow the guidance in TCM0094080.
  • go to Step 14

If the surviving partner has no eligibility to tax credits

  • issue TC661 (non entitlement option) to surviving partners address
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer that has died. Where this is the case do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

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Step 14

If you are unable to contact the surviving partner, issue TC661 to invite a telephone capture of the claim.

Note: if the customer is not of PCQA and lives in a postcode area which is due to close within 21 days, you will need to tell them that they need to make a claim before their postcode area closes. Advise them that they should contact our helpline who will be able to help them with this.

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer that has died. Where this is the case do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

If you have managed to contact the surviving partner and they are unwilling to complete a new claim over the phone

If you have managed to contact the surviving partner and they are willing to complete a new claim over the phone

  • capture the new claim with an effective date the day after the date of death. Follow the guidance in TCM0062140.
  • select [OK]
  • select [PROCESS] from the pop up box
  • use Function APPLICATION and select Manage Verification Failure from the drop down list
  • clear any verification failures. Follow the relevant guidance in TCM0078000.
  • use Function APPLICATION, selecting the View option and check that the status of the claim is ‘award issued’
  • issue TC661 to surviving partners address - you should request CY income if this information was not obtained when phoning the surviving partner
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the joint award that has been ended due to a death
  • select the [OK] button
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer that has died. Where this is the case do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

Step 15

If the surviving partner is PCQA

  • issue a Priority 1 stamped claim form
    • Note: Before issuing a claim form, clearly mark the front of the claim ‘Priority 1’ in red ink
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer that has died. Where this is the case do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

If the surviving partner is not PCQA

Step 16

If the surviving partner lives in a postcode area that is due to close within 21 days

If the surviving partner does not live in a postcode area that is due to close within 21 days

  • issue a Priority 1 stamped claim form

Note: Before issuing a claim form, clearly mark the front of the claim ‘Priority 1’in red ink

  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13 (no longer in use). Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

Step 17

Where the customer is not of PCQA and lives in a postcode area which is due to close within 21 days, you will need to tell them that they need to make a claim before their postcode area closes.

If the surviving partner is still unwilling to complete a new claim over the phone

  • issue a Priority 1 stamped claim form

Note: Before issuing a claim form, clearly mark the front of the claim ‘Priority 1’in red ink

  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13 (no longer in use). Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

If the surviving partner is now willing to complete a new claim over the phone 

  • capture the new claim with an effective date the day after the date of death. Follow the guidance in TCM0062140.
  • select [OK]
  • select [PROCESS] from the pop up box
  • use Function APPLICATION and select Manage Verification Failure from the drop down list
  • clear any verification failures. Follow the relevant guidance in TCM0078000.
  • use Function APPLICATION, selecting the View option and check that the status of the claim is ‘award issued’
  • issue TC661 to surviving partners address - you should request CY income if this information was not obtained when phoning the surviving partner
  • use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the [ALL] checkbox
  • select the joint award that has been ended due to a death
  • select the [OK] button
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP13. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • enter standardised message NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080.
  • select [OK]
  • check if there are any Unprocessed Change of Circs work list items. For how to do this, use TCM1000409.
  • where the Unprocessed Change of Circs work list item is the same as the change you’ve been notified of, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160.
  • take no further action

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer that has died. Where this is the case do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

Step 18

You will need contact the surviving partner

If you are able to contact the surviving partner

tell them:

  • Universal Credit is a new benefit that is replacing a range of existing benefits including tax credits
  • as they are of working age and living in a Universal Credit area, the law states they are not eligible to tax credits but can claim Universal Credit. To do this they will need to claim online at gov.uk
  • take no further action.

Note: Customers cannot claim tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time

If you are unable to contact the surviving partner

  • issue a TC27 to the customer
  • take no further action.