HMRC update: Britons could face £3,000 fine for ‘inaccurate’ tax credit claim – check now

Tax credits: DWP explain how to claim

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HMRC, or HM Revenue and Customs as it is formally known, helps millions of people with their tax affairs each year. Aside from this, it also issues certain payments, including tax credits which can help many with day-to-day costs. Many Britons will need to renew their tax credits in the coming weeks and, for most people, the key deadline to bear in mind is July 31, 2021.

But the Revenue has now updated its guidance to issue a fresh warning to people about the accuracy of their claims. 

HMRC has said it will charge penalties for a number of reasons which are worth bearing in mind when submitting a claim.

The penalties, it says, are first to encourage people to “be careful and make sure their claims are right in the future”.

However, a penalty fee can also serve as a punishment for those deliberately seeking to defraud the system.

For tax credit claims, then, it will be important for Britons to make sure the information they provide is correct.

If not, HMRC reserves the right to charge a penalty of up to £3,000.

This is not just for those who deliberately provide the wrong information, but also for those who are negligently inaccurate.

And it is also worthy of note that tax credit claimants could face an additional penalty of up to £300.

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The HMRC guidance says this may occur if people fail to give them information or tell them about certain circumstantial changes within one month of this occurring. 

If this failure continues, then the Revenue can also charge a penalty of up to £60 per day.

But before issuing any penalty, HMRC will explain why it is being given to an individual.

This can help them to better understand what they may have done wrong, or take the matter further if they disagree.

Those who do not accept the explanation from HMRC will be able to ask an independent tribunal to make a decision on the matter.

But if HMRC believes a criminal offence has taken place, it may carry out an investigation and potentially prosecute someone.

If this happens, though, the Revenue will not charge Britons a penalty.

Understandably, these costs may rack up for individuals, even if they have not deliberately left out information in their tax credit claim.

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As a result, people are being urged to check the information they provide well in advance of the deadline to ensure everything is correct. 

If a person has already submitted their tax credit claim form but needs to correct a mistake, they must call the tax credit helpline straight away.

When applying for tax credits, it is likely Britons will need to have certain information to hand.

This can include details of earnings such as a P60 or P45, and payslips.

Indeed, other income a person receives, such as from a pension, savings or property, must also be conveyed within a claim for tax credits. 

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