Thousands miss out on tax credits


Hundreds of thousands of families have failed to claim their child tax credits, meaning they could miss out on £400 million.

Some 4.6 million families were eligible for the benefit, but only 3.9 million have actually claimed it.

Parents now have until January 31st to claim unclaimed Children’s Tax Credit for 2002-03.

Steve Webb, Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesperson, said: “At a time of recession, when families need every penny they can get, it is wrong for thousands of working families to lose out simply because the system is so complicated.

“The government should extend the deadline for claiming and should inform families who did not claim at the time of what they are entitled to.”

Parents who failed to collect credits for the 2001/02 have already missed out.

A statement from HM Revenue & Customs said: “There are an increasing number of messages being posted on the internet to suggest that a large percentage of people may not have claimed their entitlement to Children’s Tax Credit in 2002-03.

“HMRC wishes to ensure that all people who are entitled to the relief receive it but have to make it clear that the majority of people will already have received Children’s Tax Credit at the time it was first introduced.”

The taxman advises people may be eligible to claim for 2002-03 if :
. they had a child born between 6 April 1986 and 5 April 2003
. the child lived with them for all or part of 2002-03
. they worked and paid tax for all or part of 2002-03

HMRC advises if parents hold any payslips or a P60 from 2002-03 they can generally tell if you have been given Children’s Tax Credit relief as their code will end in either an ‘H’ or ‘T’ and if no other reliefs or allowances are claimed the 2002-03 tax code will usually end in 702H.