Concentrix tax credit letters: what are they and what should you do if you get one?
Unexpectedly received a letter about your tax credits? There's probably a simple explanation - and solution
If you're a single parent who receives tax credits, you may recently have received a letter
from a company called Concentrix, asking if you have another adult living with you and requiring you to provide information on them in order to prevent your credits from being stopped. Such a missive would be enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies - but don't panic.
Who are Concentrix, and why have they sent you a letter?
Concentrix is a company that works for HMRC, carrying out automated searches of financial records. Sometimes their findings trigger an investigation, called a compliance check. Usually this happens because something in the records doesn't match up. There are several reasons why this might be the case:
- you have utility, council tax or credit card bills that are still in
- you have joint bank accounts (even if one partner is no longer using
- electoral roll records still show an ex-partner as being resident in
- there are tenancy agreements in joint names registered at your property
- your child is an adult but still living at home, and his/her details are appearing in your financial records
None of these things means you're in trouble, but what you do need to do is provide HMRC with evidence of your living situation in order to avoid having your tax credits suspended.
First things first, though: how to tell if yours is a genuine letter
Many Mumsnet users, having received a letter requesting personal information, have expressed concern that it could be a hoax. If you're worried, take a look at the logo: correspondence from HMRC will always include the HMRC logo and the supplier logo (in this case, Concentrix's) on the top left-hand corner of the page. You can also check the HMRC website for a list of the agencies that work with them.
Your letter's kosher. What do you need to do?
First, call the number given in the letter. When you speak to an adviser, they may be able to clear up the investigation on the phone; if not, they'll tell you which documents you need to send to Concentrix. If you can't find any of the documents requested, they may be able to agree on alternative paperwork which can be sent in instead.
Once you have confirmed which documents are required, send them to the address in the letter as soon as possible, and before the deadline given. It's important to do this as soon as you can, so that your tax credits aren't suspended.
If you can't reach Concentrix by phone, reply to the address given in the letter, enclosing the documents that the letter requests. If you can't locate certain documents, enclose as many as you can and explain the reason for any missing documents in your reply. Alternatively, if you can visit a Citizens Advice Bureau, the advisers there will be able to telephone Concentrix on your behalf.
What happens next?
If you have provided all of the documents requested, or as many as possible, and HMRC is satisfied that your tax credit awards are as they should be, they'll send you a letter confirming this.
If your documents suggest that your circumstances have changed from the time when the tax credits were awarded, your credits may be stopped or reduced. If this happens, you may be asked to repay some or all of the credits that you've already been paid.
HMRC may also suspend your tax credits if you don't send the documents in time, which is why it's extremely important to send them as soon as possible.
You do not have the right to appeal if your credits have been suspended. You do have the right to appeal if HMRC decides to do any of the following:
- change your award (in other words, reduce your credits)
- ask you to pay a penalty (usually for not providing documents on time, or failing to explain why this was impossible for you)
- charge you interest on any overpayment (if, for instance, your credits have been stopped and you have been asked to repay some or all of them)
How can you prevent any of this from happening?
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to immediately report any relevant change in your circumstances to HMRC. A full list of relevant changes in circumstances can be found in this guide to tax credit checks from HMRC.
Have you received a letter from Concentrix? Join the latest discussion thread, where Mumsnetters are sharing their experiences and advice.
You can find more information about Concentrix and tax credits for single parents, on the Gingerbread website.
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Last updated: about 1 year ago