Around 840,000 families, who receive tax credits and no other qualifying benefits, will receive their £300 autumn Cost of Living Payment from today, to help with everyday costs.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is making the payments to eligible tax credits customers across the UK between 10 and 19 November 2023.
In addition, more than 7 million eligible UK households are receiving £300 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 31 October and 19 November 2023.
This is the second of 3 payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or tax credits, in 2023 to 2024.
John Glen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:
I know Christmas can be a difficult time, which is why this £300 payment will come as a welcome boost for hundreds of thousands of families. But the best help we can give is halving inflation this year.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said:
The £300 Cost of Living Payment will deliver further financial support to eligible tax credits customers across the UK. Another payment will be made by spring 2024 to those entitled to receive it.
HMRC customers will receive the payment automatically, with no action required from them, to make this as simple as possible.
The payment from HMRC to tax credits customers will appear on bank statements as ‘HMRC COLS’, referencing Cost of Living Support. Those receiving the payment from DWP will see the payment reference as their National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP COL’.
If customers have not received the Cost of Living Payment from HMRC between the published payment dates, but believe they are eligible, they should wait until after 20 November to contact HMRC. This is to allow time for their bank, building society or credit union to process the payment.
Receiving a previous Cost of Living Payment does not guarantee customers will get a future one. Customers must meet the individual eligibility criteria for each payment, as published on GOV.UK.
Payment from HMRC will be made automatically into the bank account where eligible customers receive their tax credits. They do not need to do anything to receive a payment. They do not need to contact HMRC or apply for the payment.
Pensioner households will also receive £300 which will be paid as a top up to those eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment in November and December. Combined with the one-off Cost of Living Disability Payment earlier this year, some households will receive £1,350 in total.
Customers should beware of scams targeting Cost of Living Payments. If someone contacts them about this payment saying they are from HMRC or DWP, it might be a scam. People can check advice on spotting scams by visiting GOV.UK and searching ‘HMRC phishing and scams’. They can also check on GOV.UK that any contact is genuinely from HMRC.
For tax credits-only customers to be eligible for the £300 Cost of Living Payment, they must have received a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023, or later be paid in respect of any day in this period.
This is the second of three Cost of Living Payments totalling up to £900 for more than 8 million eligible families in the 2023 to 2024.
Details of the £300 Cost of Living Payment from HMRC and DWP were publicised in September, October and November 2023.
Our customers need to be aware of scams. Visit GOV.UK for more information on how to report a scam or suspicious activity.
The next Cost of Living Payment will be made by spring 2024. Payment windows and eligibility dates for the remaining payment will be announced in due course. The latest payment schedule information is available on GOV.UK.
These payments are tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
The 3 means-tested Cost of Living Payments for 2023 to 2024, worth up to £900 in total, are being delivered in slightly different amounts, each relating to a specific qualifying period before the payment is made. This allows HMRC and DWP to ensure support is targeted at those who need it and are eligible; and to determine if a payee received the correct payments and identify the payment value.
The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the second Cost of Living Payment of 2023 to 2024 tax year are those who are eligible and receive at least one of the following:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
To get the £300 payment from HMRC and DWP someone must (subject to a very limited exception) have been entitled to a payment of a qualifying benefit as follows:
- for Universal Credit, payment for an assessment period ending between 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023
- for all other DWP means-tested benefits, payment in respect of any day between 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023
- for tax credits-only customers, a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023, or later be paid in respect of any day in this period
- those on DWP benefits other than Universal Credit who are entitled to less than 10 pence and meet all other qualifying criteria but who do not receive a benefit payment, will still receive a Cost of Living Payment.
For joint tax credits claimants, where one claimant receives Working Tax Credit and the other claimant receives Child Tax Credit, payments will be made into the same bank account as the Child Tax Credit.
The number of payments made by HMRC has reduced over time, when compared with the 2022 to 2023 HMRC payments, as people move from tax credits to Universal Credit and may therefore receive their latest payment from DWP if they are eligible.
HMRC refers to ‘families’ alongside data about the number of payments it will make to tax credits customers. For HMRC tax credits purposes a ‘claimant family’ is a unit consisting of either an individual or a couple, and any dependent children.
The Government is offering help for households. Customers should check GOV.UK to find out what cost of living support they could be eligible for.