Tax Credits – Annual Renewals and Universal Credit

Taxpayers entitled to and receiving working tax credit and child tax credit are receiving their annual renewal packs which must be completed and confirmed no later than 31 July 2018.  If you need help filling in your claim form, or if you are not sure if your income details are correct, especially if you are self-employed, give us a call and we can assist.

We have helped many self-employed builders, joiners, plumbers, hairdressers, architects, solicitors and other trades/professionals claim additional income they did not know they were entitled to. If you think you may be entitled to tax credits and are not presently claiming – speak to us now, don’t put if off any longer!

At the same time, Universal Credit continues to be rolled out and, just this week, it is being rolled out in the Falls and Shankill areas of Belfast.

Many Tyrone, Armagh and Fermanagh claimants have already moved onto Universal Credit.

Omagh, Enniskillen, Dungannon and Portadown claimants have been receiving the new credit since February/March of this year.


What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new single benefit, which combines benefits for in and out of work support, housing and childcare costs, with additional payments for those with disabilities or caring responsibilities. It is being rolled out to replace:

  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Income based jobseekers’ allowance
  • Income related employment and support allowance
  • Income support

From 11 April 2018, new claims cannot be made for the above benefits or tax credits, unless for housing benefits and tax credits, you and/or your partner have reached state pension credit age, or you have three or more children. 


Will I automatically move to Universal Credit?

If you currently receive the above benefits or tax credits, it is expected you will move to Universal Credit sometime between July 2019 and March 2022. Your existing claim will not be affected unless you make a claim for Universal Credit, or there is a change in circumstances that ends your tax credit claim.

Such as, if you are currently claiming working tax credits and become unemployed and need to claim work support.

Or you are single and have now moved in with a partner who is already claiming Universal Credit.

Or you need to make an additional claim for a benefit which has now been replaced with Universal Credits, e.g. you now need help with paying rent, housing benefit will no longer be available, instead you will have to claim Universal Credits.


What about changes to working tax credits and child tax credits?

If you already receive working tax credits and want to claim for child tax credits or vice versa this is not treated as a new claim and as such you are not affected by Universal Credit, you can simply inform HMRC of the other elements to be added to your existing claim.


Am I eligible for Universal Credit?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit if you are unemployed or are on a low income. For example, you could get Universal Credit if you are in a low paid job, have high rent and/or childcare costs.

It is however all dependent on each individual situation. Universal Credit is only available for those with less than £16,000 in savings, not in full time education or training, under State Pension age, aged 18 or over and responsible for less than 3 children (other benefits available for 3 or more children).

If you have any queries on this please do not hesitate to contact Jolene Mallaghan in our office for further assistance.

Posted on June 14, 2018