Top 10 Tax Credit Renewal excuses....

Being dumped by a "rich bloke" is one of several excuses taxpayers gave for failing to renew their tax credits claims on time.  The top 10 list of excuses follows on from the Revenue's publication of its top 10 national minimum wage and late tax return cover-ups.

Claimants had until the 31 July to renew, or their payments might end. Last year, 87% renewed on time. However the remaining 13% who failed, came to about 650,000.

For the first time, this year claimants can renew online at GOV.UK, in addition to post and phone.

Some of the excuses range from the mundane (the dog ate my form) to the bizarre:

1. Wealthy boyfriend - the top excuse was from a claimant who said they didn't need the money because they met a "rich bloke" - but then he dumped them

2. Mummy's pet - another claimant said their mum usually does this for them and so they had forgotten

3. Auto mishap - a very unfortunate person apparently locked their form in the boot of their car. And then the car went on fire. Oh, dear

4. Child's plaything - the form was used as a baby's colouring book, in one instance

5. That old chestnut - of course, no great excuse list is ever complete without: "my dog ate the form"

6. Deadline confusion - one claimant said they simply got muddled up with the 31 January self assessment deadline

7. Holiday time - another booked the last two weeks of July for a holiday and forgot all about it

8. Off sick? - it sounds pretty valid to us, but HMRC included one claimant who was in hospital, but is feeling "much better now"

9. Bosses' fault - one claimant was simply unable to get income details from their employer in time

10.  Amnesiac - last on the list was the claimant who thought they had already renewed

Around 203,000 claimants have renewed online to date. If tax credits are not renewed by the deadline, claimants may lose payments.

HMRC has asked that the accuracy of information in claimants' renewals pack should be checked. In addition, claimants need to tell the Revenue about changes to their circumstances that they haven’t already reported, i.e. their working hours, childcare costs or pay.