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Working tax credits - change of circumstances and estimates

(3 Posts)
Naoko Tue 28-Jun-11 14:56:51

I just rang tax credits to report a change of circumstances as my partner lost his job yesterday. The lady on the phone recorded that my partner is now not working but she was really insistent that I provide an estimate of his income for the rest of the year. I don't understand how I can do that if he isn't currently working? He might find a new job next week, or next month, or it might take ages (*panics*) and it could pay anything from minimum wage upwards! How could any estimate be helpful in this situation, it'd just be a figure made up out of thin air...

I explained this, because I genuinely don't understand what I'm supposed to base such an estimate on, and she got really snippy with me and said 'well it's up to you if you don't want to give me an estimate but it'll be in your best interest if you do!'. She just kept repeating it - I'm not unwilling, I just don't know what to tell them...

I know with neither of us in work at the moment we are not entitled to any WTC. I have no problem with that, so I'm assuming it will now just stop, until such a point as one of us starts working, provided at that point our income is below the threshold, and they'll recalculate how much we're entitled to. Is that correct?

How do I calculate this estimate they want? What on earth do I base it on?

And a related question - I have my renewals pack but I don't understand how to fill it out. It asks all sorts of questions about our income from last year. I can provide those details, it's not a problem, but my partner was initially made redundant a week before the end of the financial year. He was unemployed for three weeks, then found the temp job that ended yesterday (so started work two weeks into the new financial year). If I answer their questions about last year, it won't accurately reflect our circumstances this year - but there is nowhere to record those changes!

Sorry this is long, and I'm sure I sound really dense, but I've gotten myself completely confused about this. sad Any light anyone can shine on this would be greatly appreciated.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jun-11 05:34:32

Start with the renewals pack by filling in his total actual income from last year. He should have a P60 (end of year income/tax statement) somewhere but, if not, use the last payslip from the job he had until nearly the end of the tax year to get the 'wages to date' amount and then add on what he earned for the last three weeks. The awards are made on 'bands' of income so if the answer is a hundred or so different to the actual, it's not going to change the outcome much.

Send that off. Give it a few days to be processed and then call the Tax Credit people and tell them again about your new circumstances. If they ask for an earnings estimate, go with minimum wage if you think that's realistic. If quickly gets a job that is better than minimum wage, call them again and advise of the change. If he's still unemployed after, say, a month call them again and advise them that he's claiming JSA.

If employment is likely to be patchy this year, make sure you keep all payslips so that you have you have a record of his total earnings when it comes time to fill in renewal forms.

That's how I'd tackle it.

I have a similar problem as have been off sick since November. Therefore I am now just on ESA but if I go back to work, then obviously our earnings will increase. However I don't have a crystal ball to know what I am going to earn this year. DS now gets DLA so qualifies for extra TC due to this. However if I earn over whatever the limit is inc my DH's salary, then we don't qualify and will have an overpayment. Can see that we will have an OP no matter what happens this year as I have already had 4 notices and have no idea what my actual end of 2012 earnings will be confused

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