Millions warned to renew tax credits or risk missing out on up to £3,400 in benefits

MILLIONS of Brits have been warned to renew their tax credits or risk missing out on thousands of pounds in benefits.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is sending out 2.5million renewal packs to tax credit claimants from this week.

There are two types of tax credits – working tax and child tax credit.

They’re given to people if they’re on low incomes, are registered as disabled or have children that are dependent on them.

Many people have been switched from tax credits to the newer Universal Credit system.

But there are also plenty of people still on the old-style system.

Tax credit claimants have to renew their tax credits by July 31.

The rates vary depending on your personal situation, but you can get up to £3,240 for working tax credit or up to £3,435 for child tax credit.

How do I renew my tax credits?

HMRC is sending out renewal packs from this week, which explain whether or not you need to renew or update your information. 

Those that need to renew will have a letter with a red line on it and the words “reply now” on it. 

People that need to check their details will receive a letter from HMRC with a black line and the words “reply now” on it.

If all your details are correct, you don’t need to do anything – your tax credits will automatically be renewed.

If there’s a change in your circumstances, then you’ll need to tell HMRC about it.

What benefits are available?

IT’S not just the unemployed who can claim from the welfare state.

These are the benefits that are available from the Government, broken down into sections:

Universal Credit 

The six main means-tested benefits have now been merged with Universal Credit. These are:

  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Emplyment and support allowance
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income support.


  • Family benefits
  • Child benefit
  • Child tax credits
  • Guardian's allowance
  • Statutory maternity/paternity/adoption pay
  • Marriage allowance
  • Maternity grant
  • Maternity allowance
  • Widowed parent's allowance.

Able to work

  • Working tax credit
  • Contribution-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA).

Low income 

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-based employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Council tax reduction
  • Free school meals, milk or uniforms and healthcare
  • Support for mortgage interest
  • Budgeting loans and advances
  • Funeral payment
  • Local council support schemes
  • Cold weather payments.

Health and disabilities 

  • Attendance allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Carer's allowance
  • Contribution-based employment support allowance
  • Statutory sick pay
  • State pension
  • Bereavement allowance
  • Bereavement payment
  • Winter fuel payments.

The following changes could have an impact on your tax credit payments:

  • Living arrangements
  • Childcare
  • Working hours
  • Whether your income has gone up or down

You can complete the renewals forms and send it back to HMRC to the following address:

Tax Credit Office

HM Revenue and Customs


United Kingdom

You can also renew or update your tax credits via the’s website or phone HMRC on 0345 300 3900. 

You’ll need information on your (and your partner’s) total income for the last tax year, which ran from April 6 2020 to April 5 2021.

You should receive your renewal pack by June 4.

If you haven’t got one by this point, you’ll need to contact HMRC on the same phone number as above.

What happens if I don’t renew my tax credits?

You have until July 31 to update your tax credits or risk losing your benefits.

If you miss the deadline your tax credits payments will stop.

HMRC will then send you a letter, which will say TC607 on it, and you'll have to pay back the tax credits you’ve received since April 6 this year.

You have to contact them within 30 days and tell them why you missed the deadline and you need to have a "good cause" for doing so.

You could be given until January 31 next year to confirm your details but this isn't guaranteed and is decided on by a case by case basis.

If you don't respond after 30 days, you'll have to pay your tax credits back up to April 6 this year and your payments will stop.

How much do you get on working tax credits?

The rates vary depending on your personal situation, but you can get up to £3,240 for working tax credit or up to £3,435 for child tax credit.

For working tax credit, you are entitled to a basic amount worth up to £2,005 a year, and you might get extras on top.

The extra elements include:

  • A couple applying together: up to £2,060 a year
  • A single parent: up to £2,060 a year
  • Working at least 30 hours a week: up to £830 a year
  • Disability: up to £3,240 a year
  • Severe disability: up to £1,400 a year (usually on top of the disability payment)
  • Paying for approved childcare: up to £122.50 (one child) or £210 (two or more children) a week

How much do you get on child tax credits?

For child tax credit, the amount you are entitled to depends on when your children were born.

If your kids were born before 6 April 2017, you could get the ‘child element’ of Child Tax Credit for all of them.

You’ll also get the basic amount, known as the ‘family element’.

If any of your children were born on or after 6 April 2017, you could get the child element for up to two of them.

You might get the child element for more children if exceptions apply.

You’ll only get the family element if at least one of your children was born before 6 April 2017.

Here's how much each element is worth:

  • Family element: up to £545
  • Child element: up to £2,845 per child
  • For each disabled child: up to £3,435 (on top of the child element)
  • For each severely disabled child: up to £1,390 (on top of the child element and the disabled child element).

For both Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits you can use a benefits calculator to find out how much you could get.

How do I apply for tax credits?

You can no longer apply for working tax credit.

This is because it has been replaced by the Universal Credit system, which you can apply for instead.

How do I apply for Universal Credit?

HERE’S all you need to know about applying for Universal Credit.

You'll need to apply to the new welfare system via the website, starting by setting up an online account.

To make an account, you'll need an email address and a phone number.

After that, you'll need to answer a set of questions about your current circumstances, known as your "to do list".

These include things like when you last received payment for a job, what your household income is and how many people depend on you financially.

If you've lost your job, Citizens Advice recommends that you don't apply until you've received your final wages or any final holiday pay.

This is because any money you receive after you've applied for Universal Credit will count as income and mean that you're entitled to less in your first payment.

You will then need to confirm your identity online.

In certain circumstances, you'll be able to apply over the phone, such as those who don't have regular access to the internet, are visually impaired, or have a physical condition that stops you from using a computer or smartphone.

To do this, you will need to contact the Universal Credit helpline to ask if you can apply by phone or arrange a home visit.

In this case, someone can call them on your behalf if you can't do it yourself.

Lots of people have been switched from tax credits to the newer Universal Credit system.

But there are also plenty of people who are still on the old-style system, and the final deadline for being moved across has been pushed back to 2024.

You may be eligible for Universal Credit if:

  • You’re on a low income or out of work
  • You’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • You’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
  • You live in the UK

We explain when your benefits, Universal Credit or state pension will be paid over the May Bank Holiday.

Half a million Brits are missing out on Universal Credit – here's how to claim it and calculate payments.

Here's what to do if your one off £500 Covid tax credit payment hasn't arrived yet.

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