Benefit claimants warned of deadline for closing accounts in government rule change
Households are warned of an impending deadline that could leave them without their benefits if they do not act quickly.
The government closes postcard accounts in order to pay state benefits, allowances and pensions to members of the public.
And for those who receive money from HM Revenue and Customs, all of those accounts must be closed as of November 30, 2021.
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About 24,000 HMRC customers with postcard accounts now have less than two weeks to update the service with new payment information before the November 30 deadline, or risk having payments stopped.
As of December 1, 2021, HMRC will stop paying Labor Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Family Allowances, and Guardian Allowances to postcard accounts.
HMRC urges account holders to contact them to update their bank details in order to continue receiving payments without interruption.
Customers can choose to receive their benefits and credits into the account of a bank, building society, or credit union. If they already have another account, they can contact HMRC now to update their details.
Family Allowance and Guardianship Allowance clients can use their personal tax account to provide revised account details, change their bank details via GOV.UK or by contacting the child benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100.
Customers can benefit from tax credits change bank details by contacting the Tax Credit Hotline on 0345 300 3900. If clients cannot open a bank account, they should contact HMRC.
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Myrtle Lloyd, General Manager of Client Services at HMRC, said, “Time is running out for clients who have used a postcard account to get payments from us. They need to give us their new account details now to avoid their payments being suspended. .
“They can update their information online or by calling us, and they must be very careful to avoid passing personal information on to scammers who contact them and claim to be HMRC members.”
If a customer misses the November 30 deadline, their payments will be suspended until the customer notifies HMRC of their new account details.
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HMRC recently reached out to customers to urge them to take action.
He urges everyone to be vigilant if they are contacted unexpectedly by someone asking for money or personal information.
Customers must always enter the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc to access the correct HMRC contact details.
HMRC says it sees a large number of scammers sending emails, calls or texts to people claiming to be in the department.
When in doubt, HMRC advises not to respond directly to anything suspicious, but to contact them immediately and search GOV.UK for “HMRC scams”.
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HMRC said it wrote to affected customers advising them of the closure of their postcard accounts.
Post office account closures will not affect DWP benefit recipients for another year.
In September 2021, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that it had accepted a 12-month extension for its customers who use a postcard account.
If HMRC customers also receive DWP payments, this extension only applies to DWP related payments.
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