If you get tax credits, you need to check your renewal forms and make sure you report the right information to the Tax Credit Office. If you don’t renew, your payments will stop. The deadline for tax credit renewals is 31 July. The renewal forms will help the Tax Credit Office to check if you were paid the right amount of money in the year just ended – and that your payments are right for the coming year. You can either renew by phone or by sending back your form to the Tax Credit Office.

If you’ve been sent an Annual Declaration, renew your tax credits claim as quickly as possible. The sooner you renew, the Tax Credit Office can work out your payments for the coming tax year. Find out when you need to renew and what to do if you’ve only been sent an Annual Review form. You won’t be able to renew until you have received your renewal pack and you know what forms you’ve been sent. You can expect your pack between 19 April and 28 June. The Tax Credit Office doesn’t send all the packs out at once, and yours may not arrive until the end of this period. If you don’t get your pack by 28 June, contact the Tax Credit Helpline. They will send you the forms you need. You can’t get a renewal pack online.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that 2.51 million are currently out of work, indicating no change in the unemployment rate of 7.8% despite 5,000 fewer people being registered as unemployed. In other figures, average earnings are also up by 1.3% on the same period last year and rose by an apparent 3.3% in April alone. The reason for the sudden increase in pay may be due to the abolition of the 50% tax rate (now set to 45%) and later monthly bonuses. The falls in nominal wages that workers have experienced during this recession are unprecedented, and seem to provide at least a partial explanation for why unemployment has raised less – and productivity has fallen more – than might otherwise have been expected. The labor market always lags a few months behind the economy, so it’s not surprising that overall, the picture on unemployment remains fairly flat.

“However, we expect to see improving economic conditions making a more positive impact on job creation later this year and it’s encouraging that once again the private sector more than offset the number of positions lost in the public sector during the first quarter.”

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