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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Specialist areas: international: miscellaneous: address changed to non-UK / non-EEA - temporary or permanent

Checklist

Before you follow this guidance make sure

  • you have the correct user roles to follow this guidance. Use the B&C Roles and Access Catalogue. You can find this by going to the Benefits & Credits homepage, selecting ‘R’ on the B&C A-Z index, selecting ‘Roles and Access Process’, selecting ‘Roles & Access Catalogue’ from the ‘Related links’ menu
  • you are in the correct MU. See TCM0322460 for the correct MU number
  • you have access to the tax credit computer system (NTC).

Reasons not to follow this guidance

When a claimant moves from one member state to live and/or work in another EEA member state Article 59 of EC regulation 883/04 applies to ensure the smooth transition of the payment of family benefits (CTC and Child Benefit) from one member state to another.

Article 59 provides that where there has been a change in competency during a calendar month, the Member State which was paying family benefits at the start of the calendar month must continue to pay until the end of that month and the Member state in which the customer arrives will be competent from the start of the next month.

So, where a customer departs from the UK to live or work in another EEA member state or arrives in the UK from another EEA member state Article 59 will need to be considered.

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Background

An absence is temporary when, at the beginning of the period of absence, it is not expected to exceed 52 weeks. Absences over 52 weeks should be treated as permanent.

A customer can continue to be treated as being present in the United Kingdom (UK) for the first eight or twelve weeks of any temporary absence depending on the reason for their absence.

If the absence is permanent, then payment of tax credits will be stopped and the customer should be advised they will have to make a new claim if they return to the UK.

If the absence is not expected to exceed 52 weeks at the outset, then tax credits will continue for eight weeks or up to twelve weeks in certain circumstances as detailed below. In a joint claim, the customer remaining in the UK must put in a new claim as a single person.

The customer will continue to be treated as being in the UK for

  • the first eight weeks of any period of temporary absence
  • up to the first twelve weeks if they, their partner or a child they are responsible for is receiving treatment for an illness or physical or mental disability
  • up to the first twelve weeks because of the death of their partner, a child they are responsible for or a close relative.
    Note: A close relative includes a direct lineal descendant or ascendant, such as a brother, sister, grandparent or child.

The customer’s tax credits payments will not be extended to 12 weeks where they

  • extend their holiday because a relative starts to receive treatment for an illness or physical or mental disability during the holiday
  • stay with a relative for twelve weeks every year and the relative is receiving treatment for an illness or physical or mental disability
  • are receiving treatment for a minor ailment that:
  • does not prevent them travelling back to the UK
    and
  • treatment for which is equally available in the UK.

Where the extended absence coincides with the death of someone’s child, partner or close relative, it should be accepted that the two are connected.

In calculating how long the person has been absent, you should start from the day after the last day they were physically present in the UK, even if they were only physically present here for a short period, including a day or part of a day.

This means, for example, that a person who was temporarily absent for seven weeks, returned for one day and was then temporarily absent for a further seven weeks would continue to be treated as being present in the UK throughout.

Note: The customer must notify any changes as soon as possible because they may incur a penalty of up to £300 if they do not provide this information within one month.

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Guidance

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Step 1

Check on the Tax Credits computer to determine if there are any ‘Unprocessed Change of Circumstances’ work items to process. For how to do this, use TCM1000142.

If there are any ‘Unprocessed Change of Circumstances’ work list items shown to process

Note: If the ‘Unprocessed Change of Circumstances’ work list item is the same as the change you have been notified of, delete the work list item and carry on following this guidance for the change you have been notified of.

  • process the work list item. For how to do this, use TCM0054060
    Note: If you need to contact the customer for any missing information, make sure you request the information for all of the potential changes at the same time if possible.
  • go to Step 2.

If there are no ‘Unprocessed Change of Circumstances’ work list item shown to process, go to Step 3.

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Step 2

Use Function ‘Maintain Worklist’

  • select the ‘Unprocessed Change of Circumstances’ Work List from the ‘Worklist Type’ drop down menu
  • select the office or unit you want from the ‘Management Unit’ drop down menu (if the one you want is not already displayed). The screen will be redisplayed with the entries currently on the work list
  • make a note of the Creation Date of the relevant work list item
  • go to Step 3.

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Step 3

Using the information supplied in the correspondence from the customer or the WAM referral, check if you have the following information for the customer and their partner

  • name
  • NINO
  • new address, including country
  • date employment ended, if appropriate
  • date they left, or are leaving, the UK
  • whether the absence is permanent or temporary (and, if the absence is temporary, the reason for the absence)
  • household Break Up date if one customer is remaining in the UK.

If you have all the information, go to Step 4.

If you do not have all the above information, use the guidance in TCM0094080 to obtain the missing information.

If you then obtain all the missing information, go to Step 4.

If you can not contact the customer or you still are not able to obtain all the missing information

Note: If the date the customer left the UK is not known and you could not contact the customer, use the date stamp on the correspondence, work list creation date or the sent date on the WAM referral as the date they left the UK if you were not able to establish this in the previous step using information held on other systems.

Note: If a date is found using data from another system and the customer has not indicated if the absence is temporary or permanent no run on should be applied.

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Step 4

If the absence is temporary calculate the effective date as being

  • eight weeks from the last day they were physically present in the UK
    or
  • twelve weeks from the last day they were physically present in the UK, if the reason they are absent qualifies them for this extension
  • go to Step 5.

If the absence is permanent calculate the effective date as being

  • the day they left the UK
  • go to Step 5.

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Step 5

If the effective date of the change is in the past or today’s date, go to Step 6.

If the effective date of the change is in the future

  • BF the correspondence using the effective date of the change as the BF date and file in the BF run
  • when the BF date expires, go to Step 6.

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Step 6

Use Function ‘Amend Application’, selecting the ‘Correction’ option

  • go to the ‘Applicant Details’ screen for the customer who is going to be absent
  • select ‘Address’

If you know the country the customer has moved to

  • update with the new address details, including the country
  • select ‘Advanced’
  • select ‘OK’
    Note: If both customers are absent, you will have to repeat the above for the other customer.
  • go to Step 7.

If you do not know the country the customer has moved to

  • select the ‘RLS checkbox’. This will set the RLS signal
  • select ‘OK’
    Note: If both customers are temporarily absent, you will have to repeat the above for the other customer.
  • go to Step 7.

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Step 7

Go to the ‘Work Details’ screen for the customer who is going to be absent. Consider if the customer still satisfies the remunerative work conditions.

If the customer still satisfies the remunerative work conditions, go to Step 9.

If the customer no longer satisfies the remunerative work conditions, check if the customer is entitled to a four-week-run-on. For how to do this, use TCM1000397.

If the customer is entitled to the four-week-run-on, go to Step 8.

If the customer is not entitled to the four-week-run-on

  • end the work details from the actual end date the customer provided. For how to do this, use TCM1000354.
  • go to Step 9.

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Step 8

Calculate the end date of the four-week-run-on

Note: this is 28 days from and including the day after the old job ended.

  • end the job from the new effective date, for how to do this, use TCM1000354
    Note: Where you have not been able to confirm the date the job ended, enter the effective date of the absence as the job end date.
    Note: If both customers are absent, you will have to repeat these actions for the other customer.
  • update household notes with message NE03 from TCM0164020, for how to do this, use TCM1000001
  • go to Step 11.

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Step 9

  • use Function ‘Amend Application’, selecting the ‘Change of Circumstance’ option
  • go to the ‘Applicant Details’ screen
  • select ‘Household’ on the toolbar menu
  • select ‘Details’ from the options available
  • enter the household end date in the ‘Household End Date’ field
  • select ‘Failed Residency’ from the ‘Household End Reason’ drop down menu
  • select ‘OK’. You will be taken to the ‘Amend Finish’ screen
  • go to Step 10.

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Step 10

On the ‘Amend Finish’ screen

  • enter the date the notification of the change was received
  • enter the source of the change
  • enter the reason for the change
  • select ‘OK’. The computer will now automatically accept the change and will apply the change at the effective date
    Note: If the message ‘The year(s) you are changing has been finalised EOY do you wish to proceed?’ displays, select ‘Yes’.
    Note: The changes you have made in this function will not be applied until you complete the ‘Amend Finish’ screen and select ‘OK’.
  • go to Step 11.

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Step 11

Check if the customer is claiming Child Benefit. For how to do this, use TCM1000297.

If the customer is not claiming Child Benefit, go to Step 12.

If the customer is claiming Child Benefit, 

  • send a redirection sheet to the Child Benefit Office 
  • go to Step 12.
    Note: If one customer in a joint claim is remaining in the UK and are the Child Benefit customer there is no need to send a redirection sheet to the Child Benefit Office.

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Step 12

If the claim has been made by one customer, go to Step 14.

If the claim has been made by two customers and both of them are not eligible any longer for tax credits, go to Step 14.

If the claim has been made by two customers and only one of them is not eligible any longer for tax credits, go to Step 13.

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Step 13

Invite a fresh claim from the customer who is not absent from the UK and is still eligible for tax credits. Use the guidance in TCM0044080 and TCM0114000,

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Step 14

Use Function ‘Maintain Household Notes’ to record the action you have taken. 
Note: You must follow the guidance in TCM0152060 when you record the note and also use the guidance in TCM0152160

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Step 15

If the change was notified to you in writing

  • send the correspondence to storage. Use the guidance in TCM0074140 
  • take no further action.

If the change was on the Unprocessed Change of Circumstances work list

  • delete the appropriate entry from the Unprocessed Change of Circumstances work list. Use the guidance in TCM0140060