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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Changes - miscellaneous (G-Z): What is a change of circumstance? (Info)

The customer must inform you of the following change in circumstances

  • a single customer becomes married or starts to live with someone as if they were married
  • (from 5 December 2005 when the Civil Partnership Act came into force) a single customer forms a civil partnership with a same sex partner or reports that they are living with a same sex partner as if in a civil partnership

Note: The Marriage (same sex couples) Act 2013 extended marriage to same sex couples.  See TCTM06100 for the definition of a couple.

  • the customer loses their right to reside in the UK or is no longer regarded as being in the UK
  • payment for childcare ceases or goes down by more than £10.00 weekly for at least four weeks in a row.

Note: The customer may incur a penalty of £300 if they do not notify you of the circumstances above within three months of the change taking place. From April 2007 this period was reduced to one month.

The customer should inform you of the following changes

  • a child that a customer is responsible for dies
  • a child leaves the customer’s family and goes to live with someone else
  • a young person leaves full-time education before they are 20 years of age
  • the number of hours worked by the customer changes between the following bands

    • under 16 hours weekly
    • 16 to 30 hours weekly


    • over 30 hours weekly
  • change in the number of children the customer is responsible for
  • a child or young person joins the customer’s family
  • a child stays in full-time education beyond the age of 16
  • a young person leaves full-time education and registers with the Careers Service, Connexions or Local Authority Support Services
  • the customer changes their employer
  • the customer or their children become disabled or cease to be disabled
  • the customer’s bank account details change
  • the customer’s address change


  • changes to the customer’s income as detailed in the award notice, that may affect the amount of tax credit to be paid.

Some changes will result in the cessation of the claim rather than it being amended. For example

  • one of the customers in a joint claim dies or you receive notification of the death of a single customer
  • a couple stops living together or separates
  • a single customer ceases employment or their hours fall below 16 hours in a WTC-only claim.

Note: A change of customer’s address is always treated as a correction to ensure that any computer output is issued to the correct address.

Note: Information regarding the changes the customer should notify you of is

  • contained in the TC600 Notes that accompany form TC600
  • on the award notice sent to the customer.