Renewing your tax credits: Renewal packs explained
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. Renewal packs are sent out between April and July.
The details you give will be treated as your claim for the current tax year (so currently for 2018-19). The renewal pack also lets you tell HMRC about your actual income for the previous year (currently for 2017-18) and is used to finalise your last’s year claim.
Your claim for 2018-19 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.
NOTE: Existing tax credits claimants will be moved to Universal Credit in July 2019. You may be able to claim Universal Credit earlier, depending on your area.
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.
Missing the tax credit renewal 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 2018 and provide the actual figures by 31 January 2019.
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.