Working tax credit employees must report changes to hours

HMRC is urging working tax credit claimants to check if they need to update their working hours if these have reduced as a result of coronavirus as relaxed reporting rules end

During the pandemic, working tax credit customers have not needed to tell HMRC about temporary short-term reductions in their working hours as a result of coronavirus - 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.

If a working tax credit employee’s hours temporarily fell because of coronavirus, they have been treated as if they were working their normal hours.

Customers do not need to tell HMRC if they re-establish their normal working hours before 25 November 2021, 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 working tax credit claim.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: ‘We introduced this measure last year to help support working families. It is vital that working tax credit claimants who have benefitted from it update HMRC with their working hours if they have reduced, and they won’t return to their normal level before 25 November.

‘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.’

It is important to inform HMRC about any permanent changes to working circumstances within one month – for example, in the case of redundancy, job loss or permanent changes to hours.

Any changes can be reported online on, where it is possible to check current working tax credit claim details.

If there are mistakes on claims, such as overpayment, the recipient must inform HMRC within one money and repay the money, otherwise penalties will be charged.

HMRC is also reminding claimants that Post Office card accounts are closing. From 30 November 2021 HMRC 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.

Useful links

Links to commentary and other resources concerning Tax Credits can be accessed via the Quick Overview.

For detailed analysis on this subject, see Croner-i’s In-Depth from ¶164-000.

The legislation governing Tax Credits is largely found in the Tax Credits Act 2002.

For current and past rates of Tax Credits, see Hardman’s Key Data from ¶6-000.

Sara White |Editor, Accountancy Daily

Sara White is editor of Accountancy Daily...

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