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HMRC cost-of-living payments start today

HMRC cost-of-living payments start today
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

About 700,000 households who receive tax credits and no other qualifying benefits will receive their £299 cost-of-living payment from today (16 February 2024).

This is the third of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or tax credits in the 2023/24 tax year.

More than seven million eligible UK households have already received the £299 payment directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is making payments between 6 and 22 February 2024.

The dates for payments made by HMRC to tax credit customers are different, with payments being made from today until 22 February 2024.

These payments are tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, which was rolled out in 2013, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “The £299 cost-of-living payment will deliver further financial support to eligible tax credits customers across the UK. To make things as simple as possible, the payment is made automatically with no action required from HMRC’s customers.”

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 households have not received the cost-of-living payment between the published payment dates, but believe they are eligible, they should wait until after 23 February to contact HMRC. This is to allow time for their bank, building society or credit union to process the payment.

Payment from HMRC will be made automatically into the bank account where eligible people receive their tax credits. They do not need to do anything to receive a payment.

The three means-tested cost-of-living payments for 2023/24, 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.