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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Specialist areas - Complex: Complex cases - state nationals covered by international agreements (AG)

To deal with a claims from customers from countries that have ratified international agreements, consider steps 1 to 19.

Step 1


  • select the Verification Failures work list from the drop down list for the Worklist Type field
  • select the office or unit you want from the drop down list for the Management Unit field (if the one you want is not already displayed in this field). The screen will be redisplayed with the entries currently on the work list
  • go to Step 2.

Step 2

Select the entry in the work list you want to work. Select [Details]. You will be taken to the Worklist Entry Details screen where more details of the selected work item will be displayed

  • using form TC648 returned from International Team, establish the reason for the failure of the claim
    • If ‘applicant not matched’, go to Step 3.
    • If the failure is for another reason, go to Step 4.

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Step 3

Await a phone call from Specialist Trace Unit (STU) stating that their action is complete, then

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Step 4


  • which country the customer is from (from form TC648)
  • which tax credits are due, use TCM0320300 (Non-European Economic Area (EEA) - entitled to Child Tax Credit (CTC) and/or Working Tax Credit (WTC). Where the customer is entitled to
    • CTC only, the customer has children and is employed, go to Step 5.
    • CTC only, the customer has children and is not employed, go to Step 7.
    • WTC only, the customer has children and is in work, go to Step 5.
    • WTC only, the customer does not have any children and is employed, go to Step 7.
      Note: Where the customer is entitled to WTC only and has children, they are entitled to any child care element and only have to work 16 hours or more a week.
      Note: 6 April 2014 there will be a change to Full time non advanced education (FTNAE) where an end date of 31/08/CY will be applied on NTC. This change applies to 18 and 19 year olds. The customer will have to inform us each year whether the qualifying young person (QYP) is continuing in FTNAE. Where the customer does not inform Tax Credits, the CTC will end. This must be considered in all manual calculations.
      Note: Where a QYP currently in FTNAE has an end date of either 31/08/CY or 31/08/CY+1 applied on NTC and is reaching the age of 20, the system will only pay CTC up to the day prior to their 20th birthday.

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Step 5

Use Function AMEND APPLICATION and choose the Change Of Circumstances option from the drop down menu. You will be presented with the Free Format screen where you must include

  • Special International agreement, set manual correspondence signal
  • Change of circs
  • go to Step 6.

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Step 6

If the customer is

  • self-employed, change the number of hours worked. For example, if the customer works 30 hours, change the hours to 31 and not 29. If the customer works 16 hours change to 17, not 15
    Note: Do not make a change to hours that would affect entitlement.
  • employed, change the customer to being self-employed
    Note: These changes to employment status or hours worked are part of the computer workaround to enable the claim to be managed as a complex case.

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Step 7

Using the Verification Failures work list, change the residency status

  • highlight the residency failure
  • select [Change verification]
    • If the entitlement is for CTC only and customer is working or WTC only and the customer has children, go to Step 8.
    • If entitlement is for WTC only and customer does not have any children or CTC only and the customer is not in work, go to Step 13.

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Step 8

Use Function MAINTAIN WORKLISTS and select the Unprocessed Change Of Circs work list from the drop down menu

  • highlight the claim you want to work and go to the Work Details screen. If the customer is
    • employed, change the details to self-employed
    • self-employed, change the number of hours worked. For example, if the customer works 30 hours weekly, change the number of hours to 31, not 29. If the customer works for 16 hours, change to 17, not 15
      Note: When changing the number of hours, do not change the hours so that entitlement is affected.
  • record your action on form TC648
  • go to Step 9.

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Step 9

Use Function AMEND APPLICATION and go to the Household Details screen. On this screen

  • set the manual correspondence signal
  • select [Applied]
  • select [OK]. You will be presented with the free format screen. On this screen complete the
    • received date (use the date of claim)
    • the source (paper, telephone)
    • whether the claim is signed
    • the reason for the change of circumstances
  • select [OK].

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Step 10

Use Function MAINTAIN PAYMENT SUSPENSION to suspend the payment

  • select the correct family
  • select [Add]
  • under suspensions available to be set
    • select the drop down menu
    • select the reason code ‘manual payment request’
    • set an action date of 180 days, (the maximum that can be set). When the date expires, set another action date of 180 days. Repeat this until April 2004
  • If you are unable to suspend the payment this may indicate that the claim has scored over the pre-defined risk rule threshold and is being looked at by Compliance. If so, go to Step 11.
  • If you manage to suspend the payments, go to Step 12.

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Step 11

Phone the relevant RIAT office

  • immediately provide them with the customer’s details
  • ask them to check that the claim appears on their work list
  • explain to them
    • that the claim is a complex case
    • the system workaround that has been used - for example, that the customer is showing as self-employed instead of employed
    • that they must contact you prior to the work list item being cleared, so that you can suspend the payment on the same day
  • when the RIAT Officer contacts you because they’re ready to clear the work item, go to Step 10.

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Step 12

Use the manual entitlement calculator and calculate the award entitlement for CTC only or WTC only depending on the customer’s entitlement

  • take two printouts of the calculation, one to file and one to pass to your manager
  • calculate the payment profile.

For guidance, use TCM0284320.

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Step 13

Use Function MAINTAIN HOUSEHOLD NOTES and add the following information, using an appropriate note from Standardised Messages

  • the issue date of the award
  • the total award amount payable
  • details of the self-employed/hours workaround
  • details of the PAYE employment (employers name, address, phone number and employee payroll number)
  • ‘Complex case, customer entitled to WTC (or CTC) only. Do not enter any details on computer, contact / refer to Manual Payments Team, MU’
    Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also follow the guidance in TCM0152160.
    • If CTC only and no work or WTC only and no children, take no further action.
    • If CTC only and work or WTC only and children, go to Step 14.

Step 14

If any benefits have been declared by the customer, obtain the local DWP / Department for Communities (DfC) / Jobcentre Plus number by using the Local Office Directory.

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Step 15

Contact the local office and inform them that the claim is complex. Provide the customer’s surname and NINO

  • tell the officer that the DWP / DfC / Jobcentre Plus computer must be noted with the following message
    ‘Entitlement for WTC (or CTC) only. Do not enter any details on NTC computer, contact the Manual Payments Team through the Customs and Revenue Contact Centre
  • tell the officer of the start date and the amount of either the CTC or WTC awarded.
    Note: This will ensure that the correct amount of benefit can be considered where appropriate.

Step 16

Confirm if written information is required. If it is, obtain the correct fax number and send the information by fax confirming the following details

  • who the fax has been sent from, include the Tax Credit Office letterhead/stamp
  • who the fax is for
  • customer’s name and NINO
  • award start date and rate of either WTC or CTC
  • direct dial number for DWP / DfC / Jobcentre Plus to use for any further contact.

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Step 17

Create form TC602 (MAN) and select the relevant paragraphs to inform the customer or appointee of the total award.

Step 18

Issue a covering letter explaining to the customer why they are not entitled to either WTC or CTC.

Step 19

Send the notice to the customer or appointee.