Renew your tax credits

Tax credits & benefits

Renew your tax credits

By Joe Elvin

Article 6 of 10

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Renew your tax credits

How to renew your tax credits, when to complete your tax credit renewal pack and what do to if you miss your renewal deadline.

If you are already claiming tax credits (other than just the family element of child tax credit), you'll get a renewal pack each year.

Top tip

  • If last year's income was too high for you to be eligible for tax credits but has since dropped, it's still worth putting in a claim. You may receive no award at first but you can then ask for your claim to be reassessed on your current year's income.

NOTE: Tax Credits are due to be replaced by Universal Credit. Transitional arrangements will apply. Full details have yet to be announced.

Renewing your tax credits: Renewal packs explained

Renewal packs are sent out between April and July each year.

The details you give will be treated as your claim for the current tax year (so currently for 2016-17). The renewal pack also lets you tell HMRC about your actual income for the previous year (currently for 2015-16) and is used to finalise your last’s year claim.

Your claim for 2016-17 is based on the information you give when you renew your claim – it's important to check all your details are correct. Renew your tax credits online at gov.uk/renewtaxcredits before the 31 July deadline.

Missing the deadline

If you miss the deadline, your tax credits payments will stop and HMRC might also start to recover any payments already made to you between April and September. 

If you don't have accurate figures for your income, you can use estimated ones, but you must return these by 31 July and provide the actual figures by 31 January 2016.

If you miss this second deadline, your tax credits award will be finalised using the estimated figures you gave before the first deadline. You will be sent a 'statement of account' and you must complete your renewal within 30 days of that statement. 

If you miss that period of grace, HMRC will start to recover tax credit payments made to you since April, and you will have to make a new claim, which can only be backdated three months.

However, if you can claim 'good cause' for having missed the deadline and if HMRC accepts this, then you must complete your renewal by 31 January.

  • Last updated: April 2016
  • Updated by: Joe Elvin