Help with the tax credits renewal pack

Each year you will get a tax credits renewal pack. You need to check your renewal forms and make sure you report the right information to the Tax Credit Office. Find out what's in your pack, the information you need to check, how to work out your income, and how to avoid some common mistakes.

On this page:

Your renewal pack

Your renewal pack may include the following:

  • just an Annual Review notice (TC603R)
  • an Annual Review notice (TC603R) plus an Annual Declaration form (TC603D or TC603D2)

You can expect your pack between 19 April and 28 June. The Tax Credit Office doesn’t send all the packs out at once, and yours may not arrive until the end of this period.

You need to renew by 31 July or whatever date is shown in your pack.

You can find out more about when to expect the forms, how to renew and what happens if you don't get them in the guide 'Renewing your tax credits - the basics'.

Your pack will come in the post - you can't get it online.

Renewing your tax credits - the basics

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Important information to check on your Annual Review notice

Check the following on your Annual Review notice (TC603R):

  • that the personal circumstances and any income details shown are correct
  • that all the changes you have reported during the last tax year are included

A tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next.

Tell the Tax Credit Helpline straight away if anything is wrong on your notice or if anything has changed.

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

If you claimed tax credits as a single person - or as a couple

Your notice tells you if you claimed as a single person or as a couple (known as a 'joint' claim).

You should make a joint claim if you are:

  • married
  • in a civil partnership
  • living together like you're married or in a civil partnership

Find out more about when to make a joint or single tax credits claim

Where you live

Your notice shows the country you live in most of the time. It doesn't matter if you sometimes go to other countries for holidays for up to 8 weeks (and in some cases up to 12 weeks). You may also be able to get tax credits if you live outside of the UK.

Going abroad temporarily and claiming tax credits

Can you claim tax credits if you live outside of the UK

Your work or benefits

Your notice shows the country you work in most of the time and the number of hours a week you usually work.

It may also show you if you got certain benefits, for example Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance.

What counts as work for Working Tax Credit

Can you claim tax credits if you live outside of the UK?

Tax credits information if you're coming off benefits

If you have a disability

Your notice tells you if you were paid the disability - or severe disability - element of Working Tax Credit.

You have a disability - can you get extra Working Tax Credit?

If you have children

Your notice shows you information about any children you claimed for, including if your child has a disability.

You can usually get Child Tax Credit for your child up to the age of 20 if they are in full-time education or approved training. This is as long as the education or training counts for Child Tax Credit.

You have children - can you get tax credits for them?

Your child reaches 16 - can you still get Child Tax Credit?

Children with disabilities - can you get extra tax credits?

If you pay childcare costs

If you work at least 16 hours a week and pay for registered or approved childcare, you may be able to get an extra Working Tax Credit payment to help with the costs. Your notice tells you if you qualify for this.

Help with childcare costs - do you qualify for extra tax credits

Your income

If you're employed, or get an occupational pension, your notice may show your income. This will be if the Tax Credit Office has your income details from your employer or pension provider.

If your circumstances have changed

Your notice tells you about any changes of circumstances you reported.

Get a full list of all the changes you need to report for tax credits

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How to work out your total income for your Annual Declaration

The Annual Declaration comes with help notes. These include a working sheet where you can note down your income.

The following sections explain what income you need to include when renewing.

Social security benefits

Some social security benefits are taxable, such as Bereavement Allowance or contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, and they count as income when you make a tax credits claim.

Others, such as Disability Living Allowance, don't count as income.

Check which state benefits you need to report

If you're employed

To check or work out your income, you can use your P60, which shows what you earned. You should get this from your employer at the end of the tax year.

Your income needs to include income from all jobs you have had.

If you didn't get a P60, your March payslip will show your total earnings for the last tax year.

Your income also needs to include:

  • any taxable 'benefits in kind' you got, like mileage allowance payments for using your own car, or a company car - your employer should give you a P11D or P9D form showing the taxable value
  • any other money you got, for example tips or strike pay

There may be things you need to take off your income, like payments to personal pension scheme.

You're employed - find out how to work out your income

If you're self-employed

Your income is the profit you made, and you should use the amount from your tax return. If you haven't sent in your tax return, you'll need to give an estimate of your profit.

If you do estimate your income, you must tell the Tax Credit Office the actual income figure no later than 31 January 2015.

You're self-employed - find out how to work out your income

If you made a loss, you should give a figure of '0'. But if you had any other income during the year, you can take the business loss off this income. You can download a working sheet to help you work this out - follow the link below.

Download a working sheet to calculate relief and trading losses (PDF 195K)

Other income

You'll also need to work out your other income. This includes for example pensions, income from property, income that you receive from abroad and savings.

Other income - how to work it out for your tax credits claim

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How to avoid common mistakes on your Annual Declaration

To avoid delays, it's important to:

  • use black ink
  • write inside the boxes
  • leave any boxes blank that don’t apply to you – don’t put a line through or write 'not applicable'
  • only tick the boxes for 'claimant 1' if you're renewing your claim as a single person
  • only tick the social security benefit boxes for the person who has actually been getting the benefit - this applies if you're renewing as part of a couple
  • only tick the box of the social security benefit that applies to you (or your partner) - don't tick all of them unless you have been getting all of them
  • don't include information in the 'Other Income' (box 2.5) that has already been included elsewhere on the form

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More useful links

Get the address of the Tax Credit Office

How to avoid being paid too much or not enough tax credits

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