Renewing your tax credits claim - the basics

The Tax Credit Office will ask you to 'renew' your tax credits claim once a year. This is to make sure you've been paid - and continue to be paid - the right money. Find out who needs to renew, the forms involved, how to renew, when to expect your pack and what happens if you don't renew.

On this page:

Why it's important to renew your tax credits

You need to renew your tax credits so that the Tax Credit Office:

  • has the right information about you
  • knows if anything has changed that could affect the amount you are paid
  • can make sure you are paid the correct amount for the coming tax year
  • can check you were paid the correct amount during the last tax year

A tax year starts on 6 April one year and ends on 5 April the following year.

It’s important to know that:

  • if you are paid more tax credits than you're entitled to (an 'overpayment') you will usually have to pay the money back
  • your payments may stop if you don't renew by the deadline

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Who gets a renewal pack

Everyone who makes a claim for tax credits during a tax year gets a renewal pack. This also applies if you:

  • claimed tax credits but didn't get them because your income is too high (a 'nil' award)
  • only got tax credits for part of the year

You get a separate renewal pack for each claim you have made during the year.

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What's in the pack

Your pack may include:

  • just an Annual Review notice (TC603R) - sent out in an A5 size brown envelope
  • an Annual Declaration form (TC603D or TC603D2) plus an Annual Review notice (TC603R) - both sent out in one A4 size white envelope

Checking your tax credits award notice

Help with the tax credits renewal pack

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When you can expect your pack

The table below shows when you can expect your pack.

Your situation When to expect your pack

You're no longer entitled to tax credits, or have a nil award or your claim has been withdrawn

By 28 June 2014

You have been getting either Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit

By 13 May 2014

You get the maximum amount of Child Tax Credit

By 24 May 2014

You get a reduced rate of Child Tax Credit

By 5 June 2014

You get Working Tax Credit only

By 13 June 2014

Your most recent award notice for the tax year that ended on 6 April 2014 will tell you what tax credits you were getting.

If you don't get your pack

If you haven't received your renewal pack by the dates shown, you should contact the Tax Credit Helpline.

The Tax Credit Helpline will send you the renewal forms you need. You'll then have 30 days to renew or report a change in circumstances. Your payments will carry on in the meantime.

You can't get a renewal pack online.

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

The first year of your tax credits claim

If you claimed:

  • just before April, you can expect your pack around late June that same year
  • after 6 April, you can usually expect your pack between April and 30 June the following year

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Who needs to renew

You need to renew if you receive an Annual Declaration form (TC603D or TC603D2) with an Annual Review notice (TC603R).

You don't need to renew if you only receive an Annual Review notice (TC603R), as your claim will be renewed automatically. However you still need to tell the Tax Credit Office straightaway if:

  • you have had any changes in circumstances
  • your income is different to what's shown in the Annual Review notice
  • there are mistakes or details missing from the notice

Who gets just an Annual Review notice

You'll get an Annual Review notice on its own if any of the following applies to you:

  • the Tax Credit Office already has your income details from your employer or pension provider
  • you just get the Family element of Child Tax Credit
  • you claimed tax credits but didn't get them because your income was too high
  • you got Income Support, income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit for the whole of the last tax year

Your most recent award notice will give you details of your tax credits entitlement.

It is also a good idea to keep your Annual Review notice in case you claim other benefits and you're asked for proof of tax credits.

Tax credits: changes you need to report and when

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

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How - and when - to renew

You can't renew until you have received your renewal pack. Once you've got your pack, if you need to renew don't delay.

The final deadline for renewing is usually 31 July but check if your pack shows a different deadline.

You can renew in one of the following ways:

  • completing the Annual Declaration form (TC603D or TC603D2) and returning it to the Tax Credit Office in the reply envelope provided
  • calling the Tax Credit Helpline
  • online - but only if you have no changes to report

If you're renewing by post and have lost your reply envelope, the address to return your form to is:

HM Revenue & Customs Tax Credits
Comben House
Farriers Way
Netherton
L75 1WB

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline and Tax Credit Office

Renew online - if you have no changes to report

If your Annual Review notice is correct you can renew online. You'll be able to give or confirm your income online, but you won’t be able to report any other changes.

Renew your tax credits online (Opens new window)

When to renew your tax credits

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Information you need when using the helpline

When you contact the helpline, make sure you have the following handy:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your password, if you have one (you would have set this up when you first called the helpline)
  • your renewal pack
  • details of any changes in your circumstances that you haven't already reported
  • the amount of your income (including that of any partner) for the last tax year

If you haven’t got a password, don’t worry. You should still call the helpline to renew.

Getting ready to renew your tax credits

Help with the tax credits renewal pack

Changes you need to report and when for tax credits

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Your payments before you renew

Your payments:

  • will carry on from the start of the new tax year (6 April) until you renew your claim, as long as you renew by the deadline - normally 31 July
  • may change if the Tax Credit Office has your latest income details from your employer or pension provider
  • may carry on a bit longer if you should have got a renewal pack but it was issued late
  • will be temporary (or 'provisional') until you give the Tax Credit Office the information they need

The payments you get until you renew could be based on out of date information. So the sooner you renew, the sooner the Tax Credit Office can make sure you're getting the right money. You may have to repay any overpayment.

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What to expect after you renew

It normally takes up to eight weeks to deal with your renewal. The Tax Credit Office will then send you:

  • an award notice with a final decision for the last tax year
  • a separate award notice showing what your payments will be for the new tax year, including any overpayments or underpayments

The Tax Credit Office may write to you to check that you have renewed correctly and may ask you for evidence, for example, of your income. So keep any relevant paperwork safe.

If you don't get your award notice within eight weeks, contact the Tax Credit Helpline.

When you can expect your tax credits renewal to be dealt with

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

Checking your tax credits award notice

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What happens if you don't renew

If you've been sent an Annual Declaration (TC603D or TC603D2) and don't renew, the following will happen:

  • your payments will stop
  • you will have to pay back any overpayment from the previous tax year
  • you will also have to pay back any payments you've received from the start of the new tax year
  • you'll get a statement from the Tax Credit Office about your tax credits payments
  • you will usually have to make a new tax credits claim if you don't provide the information within 30 days

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More useful links

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

Tax credits - rights and responsibilities

Entitlement tables for tax credits - get started

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