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Tax Credits Act 2002

Section 17: Final notice

80.Section 17 provides that the Board must give a notice to a person or persons to whom a tax credit has been awarded for the whole or part of a tax year.

81.The notice must require the claimant(s) to declare that the circumstances affecting their entitlement are as stated by the Board or, if they are not, to state how they differ. This must be done by a time specified in the notice. Alternatively, the notice must inform the claimant(s) that, if they do not declare any respects in which their circumstances differ from the information in the notice, they will be treated as having accepted as accurate the circumstances set out by the Board (subsection (2)).

82.The circumstances to be referred to in the notice are the circumstances affecting entitlement to tax credits for the tax year and the amount of tax credits to which the claimant(s) were entitled for the tax year (subsection (3)).

83.Section 7 makes clear that entitlement to a tax credit for a tax year is dependent on relevant income for that year. Section 17 therefore makes similar provision in relation to income as it does about relevant circumstances. “Relevant income”, which is defined in section 7(3), depends on a comparison of the income for the tax year to which the award (or awards) relate (“the current year income) and the income for the preceding tax year (“the previous year income”). A final notice under section 17 must either require the claimant(s) to confirm that their current year income is as set out in the notice (or, if not, to state the correct level of that income) or inform them that, unless they correct the information about current year income set out in the notice by a specified date, they will be treated as having declared their current year income was as set out in the notice (subsections (4) and (5)). The notice may specify a range of income and require people to report changes only outside that range. Section 17 allows people to provide an estimate of their current year income. Any such estimate must be corrected within a specified time if it turns out not to be correct (subsection (8)).

84.In most cases, the Board will already hold details of previous year income at the time they issue a final notice under this section, but that may not always be the case. The section therefore provides that, at the Board’s discretion, the notice may also require claimants to provide confirmation or details of their previous year income (subsections (6) and (7)).

85.The section enables regulations to be made setting out the circumstances in which one person may act for another in responding to a notice under this section or in which one partner in a couple is to be taken as acting also for the other (subsection (10)).

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