COUNTY NEWS: Residents could lose tax credits if they don’t renew

The deadline for renewing tax credit claims in July 31.

The deadline for renewing tax credit claims in July 31.

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SUSSEX residents who receive tax credits but don’t renew their claims could have them cut altogether, the HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) has warned.

There are some 95,600 people across the county currently receiving support from HMRC scheme.

However, this week, the Government body has said that those who don’t renew by next month’s deadline of July 31 will have their payments stopped.

But for the first time anyone can now renew online, regardless of what changes they have to make.

Previously, large numbers of customers had to call us or renew by post. But this is no longer the case and HMRC is urging everyone to beat the queue and get online.

Nick Lodge, HMRC’s director general, benefits and credits, said: “This is an exceptionally busy time of the year for HMRC, as millions of people renew their tax credits.

“Phone lines may be very busy with long wait times possible. Using our online service means that you can renew at any time of the day or night, and on any device, without having to call us at all.

“Online help can also answer most queries or issues that you may have. We urge everyone who can to go online.”

In East Sussex some 35,100 people receive tax credits, with 7,600 living in Eastbourne, 8,800 in Hastings, 6,200 in Lewes, 5,500 in Rother and 7,000 in Wealden.

However, West Sussex has the highest figure, with 43,900 currently in receipt of the benefit.

The Arun district has the most people on support at 9,500, closely followed by Crawley, with 8,000 and Worthing, with 6,600.

Chichester and Mid Sussex have the same number, at 5,400, with Horsham close behind with 5,100 receiving credits.

By contrast, there are only 3,900 people in the Adur district receiving support.

When it comes to renewing claims, customers must tell HMRC about any changes to their circumstances that they haven’t already reported, including changes to working hours, childcare costs or income.

Everyone can notify HMRC of these changes on here when they receive their pack and renew their claim.

On average, it takes between ten and 20 minutes to renew online.

Mr Lodge added: “People in Sussex should check their details and renew early to ensure they get the right money. The sooner people renew their claim, the sooner we can check payments are correct, meaning we avoid paying too little money, or too much, which claimants then have to be pay back.”

Online help and information about tax credits renewals is available on the Government’s website or via HMRC’s customer service Twitter feed @HMRCcustomers.