More time for post office benefits accounts
Up until t6his year nearly 150,000 people received benefits through a Post Office card account. Benefits including tax credits, Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance could all use their Post Office account. Then in the Autumn government announced the Post Office card account would be terminated. The termination date was due to be 1 December (the day after tomorrow). The change is nothing to do with benefits or those receiving them. The card account was created by the Post Office at the behest of government, and government simply decided to terminate the contract with the post office.
However today HMRC faced the reality that 13,000 account holders have still not made alternative arrangements. That would have left benefits recipients with no way of getting their benefits. So they have postponed the date of the account closures. A “one-off” extension to the contract with the Post Office for card accounts has been agreed until until 5 April 2022. By this date, any customers who have not provided alternative account details to HMRC risk losing out .
If you have one of these accounts, you must act now. HMRC insist there will be no further extensions.
Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance customers can use their Personal Tax Account to provide revised account details. Or you can contact the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100. Tax credits customers can change their details by contacting the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900. If customers cannot open a bank account, they should contact HMRC.
HMRC has been contacting customers recently to encourage them to take action. They say they will continue to contact them to remind them.