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People who receive tax credits will need to renew their claims over the next few weeks if they want to avoid their payments being stopped.

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HM Revenue & Customs said recipients need to take action when renewal packs drop through their letterboxes. Anyone who fails to do so by the end of July could see their payments come to an end.

Last year, more than 3.3 million claimants took action in time – but 20pc of eligible people failed to hit the deadline.

“People should aim to renew their tax credits as soon as they receive their packs,” said HMRC director of benefits and credits Steve Lamey.

“And they need to make sure their details are correct. The sooner they renew, the sooner we can make sure they are getting the right money.

“Renew early, renew accurately and renew on time.”

At the same time, the taxman is asking claimants to double-check the accuracy of the information in their packs. HMRC has the right to make follow-up queries with employers to check the accuracy of the information, so make sure it is accurate.

Claimants must also let the authorities know of any changes in their circumstances that have not already been reported, such as different working hours, childcare costs or pay.

Mr Lamey said: “Next year will see the introduction of universal credit, which will by 2017 see the migration of all our tax-credit customers to that benefit.

“It is therefore even more important that customers ensure that the data we hold about their claim is accurate prior to their migration to universal credit.”

Tax-credit recipients need to be aware of changes that kicked in recently, such as a lower income limit for the child tax credit. And for couples with at least one child, there are new working-hours rules for the working tax credit.

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