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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Changes - miscellaneous (A-F): Changes - general (Info)

Before making any changes you must first follow the guidance in TCM0042260 to check whether you can make the changes.

There are two types of changes that can be applied - ‘Change of Circumstances’ and ‘Corrections’. You must always refer to the appropriate guidance to confirm which type to use.

The majority of changes will be change of circumstances and must be applied using Function AMEND APPLICATION selecting the ‘Change of Circumstances’ option.

Note: On a pre-award claim any change of circumstance will be stored on the Free Format screen until the claim has been awarded. This will create an entry on the Unprocessed Change of Circumstances work list.

If one of the following reasons applies, the change must be applied using Function AMEND APPLICATION selecting the ‘Correction’ option

  • information has been entered incorrectly during capture due to transposition errors
  • change of customer address
  • changes to the Special Needs signal. If this happens, follow the guidance in TCM0138160 or TCM0138120 
  • amendments to the employer’s personal details. For example, the company or employer name changes. This does not include changes of employer
  • customer’s or child’s name changes.

If one of the these reasons apply and the claim is pre-award you will be prompted to make the correction in Function CAPTURE APPLICATION.

You may be notified of these changes in a number of ways. Follow the guidance in TCM0044120.

For information on when you can make a change where the effective date is in the future, follow the guidance in TCM0042320.

If the Unprocessed CoC signal is set, you must check the Unprocessed Changes Of Circumstances work list to check if there are any entries with details of other changes. Follow the guidance in TCM0054060.

If the customer has informed you of several changes that have occurred at different times, you must apply the changes in sequence, starting with the oldest change first. Do not complete the Amend Finish screen until all of the changes have been applied, unless told differently within specific guidance.

Restrictions (limiting the backdating)

Some changes may result in an increase in tax credits, whilst others may result in a decrease and result in an overpayment.

Note: From 6 April 2012, if a customer tells us within a month about a change of circumstances that results in an increase in tax credits, their award can be amended from the date of change. For changes notified after one month, their award can only be amended one month prior to the date the change was notified.

Except for certain circumstances (use section 05300 of the Tax Credits Technical Manual for examples) any increase can only be backdated for up to one month. Any reduction in tax credits will be backdated to the date when the circumstances changed providing that the claim has not already been finalised. To establish if a change can be made you must always follow the guidance TCM0042260.

The computer will accept a date entered in the Start Date field for a change up to one month from the processing date without applying any restrictions. You must refer to the appropriate guidance relating to that change, to check if any restrictions apply.

If backdating is restricted, a period of history must be created on the computer. You must ensure that you follow the appropriate guidance relating to that change.

Note: In the case of a joint claim you must check that the change applies to both customers.

Note: You must not apply changes to previously mismatched claims.