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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

How to check if customer’s postcode is in a closed postcode area – Netherton only

Background

To support the expansion of Universal Credit (UC), The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are undertaking a phased rollout approach using postcodes. This means that new claims for Tax Credit will no longer be accepted in certain parts of the country.

As part of this Geographic Step Closure (GSC) all new Tax Credit claims will be checked to determine whether the customer(s) is/are living in a postcode area which is closed off to new claims. Once identified, these claims will be rejected and HMRC will signpost the customer(s) towards DWP to claim UC. The exception to this is if the customer (or in the case of a joint claim, one of the customers) is recognised as being of Pension Credit Qualifying Age (PCQA). Business rules will identify these customers and their claim will be accepted.

Note: From 6 April 2017, an additional exception has been introduced to allow any customer with more than 2 children to claim tax credits despite living in a closed postcode area.  

Step 1

On the ‘Function Menu’

  • select ‘Application’ on the tool bar

 

  • select ‘UC Postcode Checker’ from the options available
  • go to Step 2.

Step 2

In the ‘UC Postcode Checker’ screen

  • enter the postcode provided for Applicant 1 in the ‘Postcode 1’ field.
  • select ‘OK’
  • go to Step 3.

Note: Where you are considering a joint claim, and where the addresses are different, you will also have to enter the postcode provided for applicant 2 in the ‘Postcode 2’ field.  Again, select ‘OK’

Note: Where the postcode entered cannot be located it will be regarded as ‘Open’

Step 3

Note: The ‘Reference Date’ field will always pre-populate with the current date

Note: The ‘Reference Date’, if entered, must be today or earlier. Where a future date is entered this will be classed as invalid and the warning message ‘Date must not be in the future’ will be displayed

  • enter the claim received date in the ‘Reference Date’ field
  • select ‘OK’
  • go to Step 4.

Step 4

Note: Where you are considering a joint claim, and where the addresses are different, when one applicant lives in a closed area and the other lives in an open area the postcode will be regarded as closed

If the ‘Closure Date’ is populated and there is a tick in the ‘Closed’ box

  • the customer(s) lives in closed postcode area and any tax credit claim will be rejected unless exceptions to business rules apply

 

  • make a note of this and return to your guidance to complete your action.

If the ‘Closure Date’ does not populate and the ‘Open’ signal appears

  • the customer(s) lives in a postcode area that remains open
  • make a note of this and return to your guidance to complete your action.

If the ‘Closure Date’ is populated but there is a tick in the ‘Due to close in 21 days’ box

Note: In this situation the ‘Open’ signal will still appear

  • the customer(s) lives in a postcode area that remains open for a limited amount of time. As the tax credit claim has already been received at this point the postcode will be regarded as being open.
  • make a note of this and return to your guidance to complete your action.