HMRC issues £500 ‘C19’ support payment today – check your bank account

Martin Lewis outlines eligibility for working tax credit

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HMRC, or HM Revenue and Customs as it is more formally known, helps people to deal with their tax affairs as well as issuing payments where appropriate. Of note to a wide range of people is a payment known as Working Tax Credit – which is an older, legacy benefit. To receive Working Tax Credit, a person must be on a low income and work at least 16 hours a week.

It is important to note, however, what counts as a low income and how many hours a person is required to work depends on their circumstances.

While Working Tax Credit is slowly being phased out with Universal Credit as its replacement, there are many still claiming the former payment and the latest update from HMRC is likely to impact them.

Many of those who are in receipt of Working Tax Credit are, today, set to receive a one-off payment of £500, in a support scheme being referred to as ‘C19’.

The Government has explained the intention of the payment and how claimants could be impacted.

It said: “If you’re part of a working household that receives tax credits, you may be eligible for a new one-off payment of £500.

“The new payment is being introduced to provide extra support when the temporary increase in Working Tax Credit ends as planned on April 5, 2021.”

Universal Credit claimants are also due to receive additional support, but in the form of a £20 uplift per week.

Indeed, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed tax credit claimants were receiving the one-off payment due to the way the system works “operationally”.

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People who are eligible for the £500 C19 payment should receive their payment directly into their bank account by today.

HMRC has said these individuals will not see the payment on the online tax credit service.

The £500 boost is non-taxable and does not affect any other benefits a person receives.

Individuals also do not need to declare it as income for Self Assessment tax returns, nor for tax credit claims and renewals. 

Those who are eligible should have already been contacted by HMRC either via letter or text message to confirm the payment.

For those who have not seen their payment by tomorrow, April 24, reaching out to HMRC is the best course of action.

However, many people will be keen to check their eligibility for the payment to avoid being disappointed.

The important date to bear in mind in this regard is March 2, 2021 – which fell on a Tuesday.

People will be eligible if on this date they were in receipt of either:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, and were eligible for Working Tax Credit but did not receive a payment because their income is too high to receive Working Tax Credit payments

The £500 payout is intended to provide equivalent support for the next six months.

Individuals are now only able to make new claims for Working Tax Credit if they are already in receipt of Child Tax Credit.

Otherwise, the Government states, applications for Universal Credit will be needed instead.

To claim Working Tax Credit, people will need to update their existing tax credit claim, and this can be done by reporting a change in circumstances either online or via phone.

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