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£8.5 billion in benefits to go begging

£8.5 billion in benefits to go begging

Category: Money

Updated: 15/08/2011
First Published: 15/08/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Around £8.5 billion in tax credits and other benefits are set to go begging this year, as potential claimants miss out on money they are entitled to.

The failure of UK taxpayers, low income families and pensioners to claim all the credits available to them comes despite last year's changes to the way child benefits are paid to families with young children.

Around 475,000 entitled families will fail to claim child benefit this year, according to Unbiased.co.uk, while a further £5.8 billion of child and working tax credits will stay untouched in Treasury coffers.

Despite the tough times facing many pensioners, over a quarter will miss out on pension credit, with £2.3 billion set to remain unclaimed.

With the 31 July deadline to renew tax credits now passed, HMRC is in the process of sending out a 'statement of account' to inform people who missed the deadline that their payments have stopped.

Luckily, by way of a second chance, people wanting to renew then have 30 days from receiving the document in which to contact HMRC in order to process the payment.
With belts still tight in the current climate it has never been more pressing for entitled consumers to ensure they are making the most of the tax credits and benefits available to them," said Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk.

"Whilst the 31 July deadline has passed, all is not lost, with the HMRC usually offering a 30 day extension to renew.

"People miss out on huge amounts by failing to claim child tax credit, child benefit and pension credits.

"The system has been set up to help those who need it most and it really is as simple as this - if you don't claim your tax credit or benefit it expires."

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