HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging Working Tax Credit (WTC) customers in Lanarkshire to check if they need to update their working hours if they have reduced as a result of coronavirus.
During the pandemic, WTC customers have not needed to tell HMRC about temporary short-term reductions in their working hours as a result of COVID – for example if they were working fewer hours or were furloughed.
It is one of several measures HMRC introduced to help those facing uncertainty around their hours.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customise your page to the sections that matter most to you.
If a WTC customer’s hours temporarily fell because of coronavirus, they have been treated as if they were working their normal hours.
Customers don’t need to tell HMRC if they re-establish their normal working hours before November 25, but from then, they must do within the usual one-month window if they are not back to working their normal hours shown in their WTC claim.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, told Lanarkshire Live : “We introduced this measure last year to help support working families.
“It is vital that Working Tax Credit claimants who have benefited from it update HMRC with their working hours if they have reduced, and they won’t return to their normal level before November 25.
“Anyone who is no longer eligible for Working Tax Credit due to a change in their circumstances may be able to apply for other UK Government support, including Universal Credit.”
Customers should continue to tell HMRC about any permanent changes to their circumstances within one month – for example if they are made redundant, lose their job or their hours change permanently during this time.
This will ensure only those who are entitled to tax credits receive them, otherwise those ineligible or due a lower rate of payment will have to pay them back later.
Any changes can be easily reported online, where customers can also check their current WTC claim details.
If customers receive tax credits they are not entitled to as a result of a change they will need to repay this money and may also have to pay a penalty if they do not let us know within one month.
Meanwhile, HMRC is also reminding claimants that Post Office card accounts are closing.
From November 30, the organisation will stop making payments of Child Benefit, Guardians Allowance and tax credits into Post Office card accounts.
Child Benefit and tax credits customers who use Post Office card accounts to receive their payments will need to notify HMRC of their new bank, building society or credit union account details.
HMRC is encouraging customers to act now so they do not miss any payments once their Post Office account closes. They can contact HMRC’s helplines (0345 300 3900 for tax credits or 0300 200 3100 for Child Benefit) or use their Personal Tax Account.