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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Compliance Examinations: Section 15 - Revised decisions after notification - post award examination

The Tax Credits Act 2002, Section 15

Section 15 gives us the power to investigate a change of circumstance which will increase the maximum rate of entitlement (see TCTM03000) before a decision is made to amend an award:

S15 (1) Where notification of a change of circumstances increasing the maximum rate at which a person or persons may be entitled to a tax credit is given in accordance with regulations under section 6(1), the Board must decide whether (and, if so, how) to amend the award of the tax credit made to him or them.

(2) Before making their decision the Board may by notice-

(a) require the person by whom the notification is given to provide any information or evidence which the Board consider they may need for making their decision, or   


(b) require any person of a prescribed description to provide any information or evidence of a prescribed description which the Board consider they may need for that purpose, by the date specified in the notice.   

In-year challenges are called ‘examinations’ so these cases are post-award Change of Circumstance examinations.

Some points Compliance staff need to note:

Where a change of circumstances is notified that would increase the maximum rate of entitlement we have two choices:

  • Make a decision under s15(1) which can be to deny the change of circumstance or to give effect to it as claimed or to give effect to it but in a different amount to that claimed, Or  
  • Require the claimant(s), their employer or child care provider to provide information or evidence before we make our decision s15(2).