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BRITISH families who claim working tax credit, child tax credit or both have to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about changes to their circumstances or income by 31 July 2020 or risk losing out on payment, said an official statement. 

Missing out on the deadline could mean people receive incorrect tax credit payments and they may be asked to pay back any over-payments made, it further said.

Tax credits are means-tested benefits that help provide extra money for people with kids, those on low incomes and disabled workers.

Low-income workers aged 25 and over are eligible for working tax credit, but those aged 16-24 can also claim it, if they have a qualifying disability or a child.

Child tax credit can be claimed by people who are responsible for at least one child under the age of 16, or under 20 if they are in full-time education – people don’t need to be in work to claim it.

Failure to inform HMRC about any changes within one month could result in a £300 fine, and knowingly supply incorrect information could attract a fine up to £3,000.

HMRC’s director-general for customer services, Angela MacDonald, said: “Tax credits provide much-needed financial support to our customers. But we know that many customers leave it to the last minute to renew their tax credits award.

“The time to renew your tax credits is now, you don’t need to wait until deadline day on 31 July.”

People can renew their tax credits online at gov.uk.

People who received an annual review pack or text and have already made their declaration, including confirming their income and circumstances, do not need to do anything else, HMRC said.

In April, HMRC announced Working Tax Credit customers would receive up to £20 extra each week from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021, as part of a number of measures to support the country during the coronavirus pandemic.