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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

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

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 you have received notification of a death of a customer, go to Step 2.

If you have received, or are waiting for, a reply to TC1063 or TC1134, go to Step 4.

If you have received a TC661

  • forward correspondence to Physical CoCs teams for them to input income details
  • take no further action.

Step 2

If the death relates to current year (CY), go to Step 3.

If the death relates to any other years, follow the guidance in TCM0042260.

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Step 3

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 9.

If the date of death cannot be accepted as verified

  • issue TC1134
  • BF the 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.

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Step 4

If you are waiting for a TC1063 or have received executor details by telephone, go to Step 5.

If you have a returned TC1134 or the BF period for an issued TC1134 has expired, go to Step 6.

Step 5

If the TC1063 has been received with executor details and the tax credits computer has not been updated

  • use function ‘Amend Application’ selecting the ‘Correction’ option
  • enter the customer’s National Insurance Number (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 details have been provided, delete the deceased customer’s bank details.
    Note: If the executor or appointee is a solicitor, the bank details cannot be used - delete the deceased customer’s bank details.
  • 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’ for 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
    Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer who has died. Where this is the case, do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.
  • take no further action.

If TC1063 has been returned with no information provided, or RLS, or has not been returned, go to Step 9.

If TC1063 has been returned and the tax credits computer has already been updated, go to Step 9 but do not add details of the executor on the tax credits computer.

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Step 6

If TC1134 has been returned, go to Step 7.

If TC1134 has not been returned, go to Step 8.

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Step 7

If the returned TC1134 confirms the date of death, go to Step 9.

If the returned TC1134 confirms 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 Applicant’s screen and delete the date of death 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • 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 8.

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

  • reissue TC1134
  • BF the 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.

Step 8

If the 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • 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

Check if the claim is pre-award or post-award.

If the claim is post-award, go to Step 10.

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 complete form TC648 and send it to Compliance and continue with this guidance
  • clear any high risk verification failures. Follow the 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 verification failures. Follow the guidance in TCM0138020.
    Note: If there were any notes in the ‘Application Notes’ field of the ‘Summary Information’ screen that indicated compliance activity, do not check for verification failures. Follow the guidance in TCM0138020.
  • use Function ‘Application’, selecting the ‘View’ option and check that the status of the 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’ to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080
  • go to Step 10.

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 entried 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, complete form TC648 and send it to Compliance and continue with this guidance
  • clear any high risk verification failures. Follow the 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 verification failures. 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’ to record the action you have taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080
  • take no further action.

Step 10

  • use Function ‘Amend Application’ and select the ’Change of Circumstances’ option
  • enter the customer’s NINO
  • select the ‘All’ checkbox
  • select the ‘OK’ button
  • go to ‘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 isnt a tick, select the ‘Deceased’ checkbox, then a tick will be shown.
  • go to Step 11.

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Step 11

Check if the death relates to a single or joint claim.

If the death relates to a single claim, go to Step 12.

If the death relates to a joint claim, go to Step 13.

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Step 12

Check if the executor details are held.

If executor details are held, go to Step 13.

If executor details are not held

  • issue TC1063 to request executor details
  • BF for 37 days
  • take no further action.

Step 13

If this is a single claim 

  • select ‘Household’ from the toolbar menu
  • select ‘Details’ from the options available. The ‘Household End Date’ 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 change was received
  • enter the ‘Source’ of the change
  • enter the reason for the change as ‘Change of Circumstances’
  • select ‘OK’
  • use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’
  • enter retained note using standardised message NP05 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080
  • select ‘OK’
  • check if there are ‘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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you have been notified of
  • take no further action.
    Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer who has died. Where this is the case complete all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

If this is a joint claim

  • select the ‘Payment’ screen of the customer who has died
  • change the existing bank details to the surviving partner’s 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 Date’ 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 14.

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Step 14

You will need to check whether the surviving partner has made a claim for Universal Credits. For how to do this use TCM1000626.

If the surviving partner has made a claim for Universal Credits

  • make a note of the tax credits end date
  • go to Step 15.

If the surviving partner has not made a claim for Universal Credits, got to Step 18.

Step 15

Compare the date of death to the tax credits end date.

If the date of death is before the tax credits end date, got to Step 16.

If the date of death is after the tax credits end date, go to Step 18.

Step 16

You will need to check whether any overpayments have been transferred to DWP. For how to do this, use TCM1000633

If overpayments have been transferred to DWP

  • complete a re-apportionment stencil requesting the amount of debt transferred to DWP is updated to reflect DWP debt transfer apportionment rules. For how to do this, use TCM1000636.
  • go to Step 17.

Note: DWP debt transfer apportionment rules dictate that if a household ends due to the death of a customer 100% of the overpayment is allocated to the surviving partner.

If overpayments have not been transferred to DWP, go to Step 18.

Step 17

You will need to send a referral requesting a re-issue of the IYS17 as the UY period has changed due to the death of a customer.  For how to do this use, TCM1000086

  • complete an Re-issue IYS17 template for the attention of Model Office to inform them of the date of death
  • take a copy of the template and place with the case papers
  • go to Step 19.

Step 18

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, go to Step 19.

If the surviving partner is living in a closed postcode area and they are PCQA, go to Step 19.

If the surviving partner is living in a closed postcode area and they are not PCQA, go to Step 24.

Step 19

Check whether the surviving partner has eligibility to 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 credits claim over the phone. Follow the guidance in TCM0094080
  • go to Step 20.

If the surviving partner has no eligibility to tax credits

  • issue TC661 (non entitlement option) to surviving partner’s address
  • use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’
  • 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, clear the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM1000160. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • take no further action.

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

Step 20

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 with this.

Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer who 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, go to Step 21.

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

  • capture a 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 the surviving partner’s address - you should request CY income if this information was not obtained when phoning the surviving partner
  • use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’
  • 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 NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidane 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • take no further action.

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

Step 21

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 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • take no further action.
    Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer who 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, go to Step 22.

Step 22

If the surviving partner lives in a postcode area that is due to close within 21 days, go to Step 23.

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 NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080
  • select ‘OK’
  • check if there 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • take no further action.
    Note: You should check whether there is a Child Benefit claim for the customer who has died. Where this is the case, do not issue TC661 until you have completed all Child Benefit guidance as detailed in CBPG9400.

Step 23

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 clam form, clearly mark the front of the claim ‘Priority 1’ in red ink.
  • use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’
  • enter retained note using 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • 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 guidance in TCM0078000
  • use Function ‘Application’ selecting the ‘View’ option and check that the status of the claim is ‘award issued’
  • issue TC661 to the surviving partner’s 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 NP04 recording the actions taken. Follow the guidance in TCM0152080
  • select ‘OK’
  • check if there are any ‘Unpublished 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. Do not clear the work list item where it is different to the change you’ve been notified of
  • take no further action.

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

Step 24

You will need to 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 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 need to claim online at gov.uk
  • they cannot claim tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time
  • take no further action.

If you are unable to contact the surviving partner

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