Claims and Notification: Making a claim
The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, Reg 2 and 5 and The Tax Credits Act 2002, Sections 3 & 4
A claim for tax credits must be made at an appropriate office.
Before 6 April 2009 appropriate office means an office of
- the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs
- the Department for Work and Pensions, or
- the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland.
From 6 April 2009 appropriate office means:
- any other office specified in writing by the Board.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland was previously treated as an appropriate office in its own right but has now been removed. We can therefore now only accept details from DWP offices in specific circumstances when it has been specified in writing either to staff or customers.
A claim can be made:
- by post, on an appropriate paper claim form, or
- in such a manner as the Board may decide having regard to all the circumstances
- electronically over the Internet (Note: this service is currently suspended); or
- face to face at an Enquiry Centre (EC).
A claim can be made:
- jointly by the members of a couple,
- jointly by the members of a polygamous unit or,
- singly by a person only if they are unable to make a joint claim under (a) or (b),
- only by persons who are aged at least 16 and in the UK.
A claim by a single person is known as a ‘single claim.’
Claims from couples are known as ‘joint claims.’ Where a couple are married or partners in a Civil Partnership they must make a joint claim unless they are separated under a court order or separated and intend the separation to be permanent.
A “couple” means:
- two people who are married to each other and not separated under a court order or separated in circumstances that are likely to be permanent,
- two people who are not married to each other but are living together as if they were a married couple, or
- two people of the same sex who are civil partners of each other and are not separated under a court order or separated in circumstances that are to be permanent
From 4 April 2005 The Gender Recognition Act 2004 gave people the right to gain legal recognition in their acquired gender where they apply to the Gender Recognition Panel and get a Gender Recognition Certificate. For the period from 4 April 2005 until the 21 December 2005, when same sex couples became legally recognised in this country, any claimant obtaining a full Gender Recognition Certificate would no longer be able to meet the eligibility conditions to make a joint claim. During this period a “single” claim may be appropriate.
A “polygamous couple” means a man and a woman who are married under a law which permits polygamy where-
- they are not separated under a court order or in circumstances in which the separation is likely to be permanent, and
- either of them has an additional spouse;
A “polygamous unit” means-
- a polygamous couple, and
- any person who is married to either member of the polygamous couple and who is not separated from that member under a court order or in circumstances in which the separation is likely to be permanent.
However, UK law-
- does not permit the contracting of polygamous marriage within the UK and
- only recognises polygamous marriage between one or more persons domiciled in the UK where such a marriage is conducted under a law recognising polygamy and conducted outside the UK between parties neither of whom are already married in UK law.”
Note: for more guidance on when to make a joint or single claim see TCTM09300
Circumstances in which claims made by one member of a couple are to be treated as also made by the other member of the couple
The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, Reg 13
A claim for tax credits made by one member of a couple is to be treated as also made by the other member of the couple in such manner and in such circumstances as the Board may decide. Where one member of a couple responds to a notice under section 17 of the Act given to both members of the couple they are both treated as having made a claim for tax credits.
The Tax Credits Act 2002 section 3(4)
Entitlement to a tax credits claim ceases where claimants who made a joint claim could no longer jointly make a claim. For example, a married couple who claimed jointly have separated and expect that separation to be permanent.
Entitlement to a tax credits claim ceases where a claimant who made a single claim could no longer make a single claim. For example a single person who claimed tax credits has now moved in with his/her boyfriend.
The above are changes of circumstance which must be notified to the Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs within 1 month of the change. A new claim may be made detailing the claimant’s new circumstances.