Press release -
Tax credits checks for Newcastle customers
Tax credits customers in Newcastle who are now living with a partner are being reminded to update their tax credits claim as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) launches a new campaign to reduce tax credits error and fraud.
Newcastle has one of the highest number of claimants in the UK with around 95,000 customers receiving tax credits, and of these over 54 per cent are claims as a single person. As the national average for single person claims is around 35 per cent, HMRC are checking claims in Newcastle to ensure they are up to date and correct.
If you are one of the 52,000 customers in Newcastle currently claiming as a single person, then you must let HMRC know immediately if your circumstances change in order to avoid receiving an incorrect payment, and risk facing a penalty or prosecution.
Paul Gerrard, Director of Operations, Benefits and Credits, HMRC, said:
“It is the customer’s responsibility to tell HMRC about any change of circumstance that affects their tax credits entitlement, and we will work with customers to understand their correct circumstances and eligibility.
“We are reminding customers to contact us about any changes, such as moving in with a new partner, and to tell us now about any other undeclared changes in order to ensure they receive the correct payment.
“If customers need help or are uncertain about any changes, they should call us for further advice on 0345 300 3900.”
This campaign, which begins on 17 March, will feature a series of local radio and newspaper adverts to raise awareness of the checks.
Notes for editors
1. In 2012/13 around 100,000 customers across the UK had their tax credits award corrected because they did not declare to HMRC that their circumstances had changed and they were living with a partner. On average these people were paid around £8,000 in tax credits to which they were not entitled.
2. The average penalty charged by HMRC for someone who does not declare their partner on their application for tax credits or does not update their claim when their circumstances change is £2,000.
3. Information on reporting any changes is available on our website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax%20credits/keep-up-to-date/changes-affect/how-when-report.htm
4. Tax credits error and fraud costs the UK Exchequer around £2.9 billion a year.
5. HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
6. Follow HMRC on Twitter at @hmrcgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.