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If you've forgotten to report a change, tell the Tax Credit Office as quickly as you can. If you wait you may not be getting all the money you are entitled to. Or you could be building up an overpayment that you may have to pay back.
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It is your responsibility to tell the Tax Credit Office about any change of circumstance that affects your tax credits. For example, if you separate from your partner.
The Tax Credit Office uses the information about your change to re-work your payments and send you an amended award notice.
If you don't report a change that affects your tax credit payments, you may:
If you don't tell the Tax Credit Office about a change, they won't know about it until they ask you to confirm your actual circumstances. This could be for example when they send you a renewal pack after the end of the tax year. At this point they check whether you received all the money you were entitled to.
It may turn out that you didn't get all the money you should. Or if you got too much money, your current tax credits payments - if you still qualify, are usually reduced to repay the money.
If you realise that you haven't reported a change on time you should still tell the Tax Credit Office straightaway. Don't wait until you have to renew your tax credits claim.
If your change means your payments go down, for example your child leaves full-time education that qualified for tax credits, you may well be overpaid. Your drop in your payments will be backdated to the date of the change. You may have to pay a penalty as well.
If your change means your tax credit payments will go up, such as having a baby, tell the Tax Credit Office straight away. This is because your increase in tax credit payments can only be backdated by up to one month. For example if you had a baby on 12 June but didn't report this until 12 October, you'll only get the increase from 12 September. You would miss out on three months' extra payment.
You can report a change by calling the Tax Credit Helpline or writing to the Tax Credit Office.
You can't email or report changes online for tax credits.