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Tax credits recipients to receive Cost of Living Payment from today

Press release -

Tax credits recipients to receive Cost of Living Payment from today

Around 700,000 families, who receive tax credits and no other qualifying benefits, will receive their £299 Cost of Living Payment from today, 16 February 2024, to help with everyday costs.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is making the payments to eligible tax credits customers across the UK between 16 and 22 February 2024.

More than 7 million eligible UK households have already received the £299 payment directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is paying its customers between 6 and 22 February 2024.

This is the third of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or tax credits, in 2023/24 and comes as part of the government’s £104 billion cost of living support package.

These payments are tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC Director General for Customer Services, said:

“The £299 Cost of Living Payment will deliver further financial support to eligible tax credits customers across the UK. To make things as simple as possible, the payment is made automatically with no action required from HMRC’s customers.”

The payment from HMRC to tax credits customers will appear on bank statements as ‘HMRC COLS’, referencing Cost of Living Support. Those receiving the payment from DWP will see the payment reference as their National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP COL’.

If customers have not received the Cost of Living Payment from HMRC between the published payment dates, but believe they are eligible, they should wait until after 23 February to contact us. This is to allow time for their bank, building society or credit union to process the payment.

Receiving a previous Cost of Living Payment does not guarantee customers will get this payment. Customers must meet the individual eligibility criteria for each payment, as published on GOV.UK.

Payment from HMRC will be made automatically into the bank account where eligible customers receive their tax credits. They do not need to do anything to receive a payment. They do not need to contact HMRC or apply for the payment.

Customers should beware of scams targeting Cost of Living Payments. If someone contacts them about this payment saying they are from HMRC or DWP, it might be a scam. People can check advice on spotting scams by visiting GOV.UK and searching ‘HMRC phishing and scams’. They can also check on GOV.UK that any contact is genuinely from HMRC.

Additional information

The Cost of Living Payments – worth £900 in total in 2023/24 – come on top of a significant package of support which has been delivered since autumn 2021. Including:

  • Cutting taxes for over 29 million working people this year through a 2% cut to Class 1 National Insurance Contributions, worth £450 per year on average.
  • Cutting taxes for self-employed people by cutting Class 4 contributions, benefitting 2 million people, and abolishing Class 2 contributions, a tax cut worth an average of £350 per year.
  • Paying three million households the £150 Warm Home Discount this winter and 8.9 million pensioner households up to £600 in Winter Fuel Payments in December last year.
  • Providing the £650 Cost of Living Payments in 2022/23 and an additional cash boost on top of this payment including £300 to pensioner households; £150 to disabled individuals in 2022 and last year.
  • Capping single bus fares at £2 outside of London until the end of this year to help millions of people make significant savings on their travel costs. The fare cap has helped cut bus fares in England by 7.4% between June 2022 and June 2023.
  • Paying around half of the typical household energy bill between October 2022 and July 2023 through our Energy Price Guarantee and £400 support scheme.
  • Extending the 5p fuel duty cut and cancelling the planned increase – saving the average driver £100 this year.
  • Covering 85% of childcare costs for working households on Universal Credit, up from 70% under the legacy system – currently worth over £19,500-a-year for families with two children.
  • Expanding Free School Meals to 5 to 7-year-olds – benefitting 1.3 million children and boosting the value of Healthy Start vouchers by over a third – from £3.10 to £4.25.
  • Increasing the Universal Credit work allowance and cutting the taper rate, which was worth an extra £1,000 a year to families on Universal Credit.

Vulnerable people will continue to be supported with the cost of living from April this year by:

  • Uprating benefits in line with inflation by 6.7%. 
  • Maintaining the triple lock and increasing the state pension by 8.5% - after the largest ever cash increase last year for around 12 million pensioners.
  • Investing £1.2 billion to restore Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rates, meaning 1.6 million private renters will see nearly £800 in additional help.
  • Increasing the National Living Wage by its largest ever cash amount in April – worth over £1,800 to the gross annual earnings of a full-time worker – and lowering the age threshold for eligibility by 2 years.

We encourage people in need of additional support over the winter to check their eligibility through the government’s Help for Households website for the various cost of living schemes that are place.

Notes for editors:

1. For tax credits-only customers to be eligible for the £299 Cost of Living Payment, they must have received a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 13 November 2023 to 12 December 2023, or later be paid in respect of any day in this period.

2. To be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment from DWP, you need to have been entitled to a payment for a qualifying benefit between 13 November and 12 December 2023, or payment for an assessment period, ending between these dates.

3. Details of the £299 Cost of Living Payment from HMRC and DWP were previously publicised in December 2023 and February 2024.

4. Our customers need to be aware of scams. Visit GOV.UK for more information on how to report a scam or suspicious activity.

5. The three means-tested Cost of Living Payments for 2023/24, worth up to £900 in total, are being delivered in slightly different amounts, each relating to a specific qualifying period before the payment is made. This allows HMRC and DWP to ensure support is targeted at those who need it and are eligible; and to determine if a payee received the correct payments and identify the payment value.

6. The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the third Cost of Living Payment of 2023/24 are those who are eligible and receive at least one of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

7. For joint tax credits claimants, where one claimant receives Working Tax Credit and the other claimant receives Child Tax Credit, payments will be made into the same bank account as the Child Tax Credit.

8. The number of payments made by HMRC has reduced over time, when compared with the 2022/23 HMRC payments, as people move from tax credits (HMRC) to Universal Credit (DWP) and may therefore receive their latest payment from DWP if they are eligible.

9. HMRC refers to ‘families’ alongside data about the number of payments it will make to tax credits customers. For HMRC tax credits purposes a ‘claimant family’ is a unit consisting of either an individual or a couple, and any dependent children.

10. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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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.


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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.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

100 Parliament St
SW1A 2BQ London