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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.
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Your renewal pack may include the following:
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.
Check the following on your Annual Review notice (TC603R):
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.
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:
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.
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.
Your notice tells you if you were paid the disability - or severe disability - element of Working Tax Credit.
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.
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.
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.
Your notice tells you about any changes of circumstances you reported.
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.
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.
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:
There may be things you need to take off your income, like payments to personal pension scheme.
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.
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.
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.
To avoid delays, it's important to: