Time is rapidly running out for claimants to renew their tax credits with only two weeks left before the deadline expires, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned today (15 July 2014).

Claimants must renew their tax credits by the 31 July or run the risk of having their payments stopped, say HMRC.

According to the HMRC, more than 650,000 claimants failed to renew their tax credit claims in time last year, or failed to provide the correct information on claim forms.

HMRC is reminding all claimants to check the accuracy of the information they provide, as well as making sure they include any details of changes in circumstance. This may include changes in the number of hours worked, childcare costs and earnings. Failure to include such information could result in claims being delayed or stopped, warns HMRC.

The HMRC has also revealed the top ten excuses used by claimants who fail to renew their tax credits in time:

  • I didn’t need the money because I’d met a rich bloke, but he dumped me
  • My mum usually does this for me
  • The form was locked in the boot of my car, and then my car caught fire
  • My baby used the paperwork as a colouring book
  • My dog ate the form
  • I got confused with the 31 January Self Assessment deadline
  • I booked the last two weeks of July for a holiday and forgot all about it
  • I’ve been in hospital but am feeling much better now
  • I was unable to get income details from my employers in time
  • I thought I’d already renewed

Claimants can now renew their tax credits online for the very first time, or use the more traditional method of contacting the HMRC by phone or post.

Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits, HMRC, said:

“So far, over 203,000 claimants have renewed online. It’s a quick and easy way to do it.

“Renewing tax credits on time is important. People who don’t renew by the deadline can, and do, lose their payments.”