Workers in receipt of Working Tax Credit (WTC), have been urged to check if they need to update their working hours.
WTC tops up the earnings of those on a low income. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says people need to check their hours if these have reduced as a result of coronavirus and want to make sure people are not faced with paying back funds they were not entitled to, and potentially incur a penalty.
It was not necessary to inform HMRC of short-term reductions which took place during the pandemic, for example, if employees were furloughed or on reduced hours.
HMRC says that if hours fell temporarily because of the COVID-19 outbreak, they were still treated as their normal hours in a bid to help those facing uncertainty around their hours.
Once people get back to their normal working pattern they do not need to inform HMRC of the changes before 25 November 2021.
From then on they must do within the usual one-month window if they are not back to working their normal hours shown in their WTC claim.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “We introduced this measure last year to help support working families. It is vital that Working Tax Credit claimants who have benefitted from it update HMRC with their working hours if they have reduced, and they won’t return to their normal level before 25 November.
“Anyone who is no longer eligible for Working Tax Credit due to a change in their circumstances may be able to apply for other UK Government support, including Universal Credit.”
If workers are made redundant, lose their job or their hours change permanently during this time, they should inform HMRC about these permanent changes to their circumstances within one month.
This will ensure only those who are entitled to tax credits receive them, otherwise those ineligible or due a lower rate of payment will have to pay them back later.
- Any changes can be easily reported online on GOV.UK, where people can also check their current WTC claim details.
- If people receive tax credits they are not entitled to as a result of a change they will need to repay this money and may also have to pay a penalty if they do not let HMRC know within one month.
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