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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Payment - overpayments (A-C): Overpayments - changes to be reported within a month (Info)

The customer must report the following changes within a month of them occurring in order to meet their responsibilities as defined in ‘Code Of Practice 26 - What happens if we have paid you too much tax credit’ (COP 26).

It’s in the customer’s interests to report a change of circumstances as soon as possible to reduce any overpayment that might arise as a result of that change.

Changes to the household

The customer must tell us if they claimed

  • as an individual, but are now married or in a civil partnership (or living with someone as if they’re married or in a civil partnership)
  • as part of a couple, but they’ve separated or their partner has died.

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

Childcare costs

The customer must tell us if they stop paying for childcare or the payments go down by £10.00 or more weekly and the change lasts for more than four weeks in a row.

Leaving the United Kingdom

The customer must tell us if they (or their partner)

  • leave the United Kingdom permanently
  • go abroad for a temporary absence of more than eight weeks (or more than 12 weeks if they go abroad because they’re ill or because someone in their family is ill or has died)
  • lose their right to reside in the United Kingdom.

Working hours

The customer must tell us if

  • their working hours drop below 16 hours weekly or reduce to nil
  • they’re working 30 hours or more weekly and their hours drop below 30 or reduce to nil.

Note: For couples with children, it’s their joint working hours that count towards the 30 hours.

  • Note: From 6 April 2012, there will be a change to the Tax Credit eligibility rules. Couples with children will be required to work at least 24 hours weekly. Hours can be added together but one customer must be working at least 16 hours weekly to qualify for Working Tax Credit.they’ve been on strike for more than ten continuous days.

Children and young people

The customer must tell us if a child or young person

  • starts to live with someone else or they die
  • starts to claim Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit in their own right.

The customer must also tell us if a young person aged between 16 and 20

  • leaves full-time education or approved training
  • starts advanced education - for example, a degree course
  • starts training provided under a contract of employment
  • starts paid work, usually for more than 24 hours weekly.