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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Changes: payments: bank or building society account change / payment frequency (Info)

Changes to the details of a bank or building society account can be accepted from

  • the customer or their partner
  • the bank or building society
  • the customer’s personal acting body (but not their agent).

Bank or building society accounts can be changed up to 30 days in advance.

Customer reports the change

If the customer reports a change to their bank details you must check for Compliance activity or suspicious activity.

If the customer has changed the frequency of payment on more than one occasion within a 12 month period or household notes show NC61 (changed pay frequency in the last 12 months), NC65 (changed pay frequency citing financial hardship) or NC66 (been advised to write in to make changes) pass the papers to the Risky Change of Circumstances Team.

Note: A change in legislation in Jan 2011 allows TCO the discretion not to allow a change under suspicious circumstances but this is not stopping all changes. If the customer has made one change but the customer claims financial hardship the change will be allowed however the customer is informed that we are unlikely to allow a further change. If a further change is required by the customer they will be advised to write in.

If there is no Compliance activity or suspicious activity, contact the customer to confirm the details and obtain any missing information.

Bank or building society reports the change

These types of changes are notified by a bank or building society when a customer opens a new bank account. They should have signed authority from the customer.

If any information is missing, you must contact the customer to provide the missing information. The change can then be made.

Contact Centre referral

If you are dealing with a bank change referred to you by a Contact Centre you don’t need to confirm the details with the customer.

Types of bank changes

Customers may report a change to an existing bank or building society account that may result in a change to their method of payment. For example, a customer reports their bank account has closed and doesn’t have a new bank account. This will mean a change to their payment method from BACS to cashcheque.

If the customer doesn’t have a new bank or building society account for their tax credits to be paid into, they will need to open one. Until their new account details have been received their payments will be made by cashcheque.

Any bank or building society account that will accept a BACS payment is acceptable.

Whilst the Tax Credit Office will allow tax credits payments to be made into third party or appointee bank accounts, some banks require the customer to be the account holder before accepting payments. In these circumstances, it will be necessary for the customer to provide acceptable new bank account details.

If the bank doesn’t require the customer to be the account holder, business accounts, children’s accounts and relative’s accounts are acceptable. If payments aren’t made into an account in the customer’s or partner’s name and there are any other changes or activity on the claim that leads you to think that the change is suspicious, refer the change to Compliance.

Note: A change in legislation in January 2011 allows TCO the discretion not to allow a change under suspicious circumstances but this is not stopping all changes. If the customer has made one change but the customer claims financial hardship the change will be allowed however the customer is informed that we are unlikely to allow a further change. If a further change is required by the customer they will be advised to write in.

There is an Action Guide for this subject, select TCM0046040 to access it