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Tax credits recipients to receive Cost of Living Payment from today

Around 700,000 families, who receive tax credits and no other qualifying benefits, will receive their £299 Cost of Living Payment from today, 16 February 2024, to help with everyday costs.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is making payments to eligible tax credit customers across the UK between 16 and 22 February 2024.

More than 7 million eligible UK households have already received the £299 payment directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is paying its customers between 6 and 22 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 2023/24 and comes as part of the government’s £104 billion cost of living support package.

These payments are tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

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Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC 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 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 23 February to contact us. 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 this payment. 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.

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.UKand searching ‘HMRC phishing and scams’. They can also check on GOV.UK that any contact is genuinely from HMRC.


Additional information:

The Cost of Living Payments – worth £900 in total in 2023/24 – come on top of a significant package of support which has been delivered since autumn 2021. Including:

  • Cutting taxes for over 29 million working people this year through a 2% cut to Class 1 National Insurance Contributions, worth £450 per year on average.
  • Cutting taxes for self-employed people by cutting Class 4 contributions, benefitting 2 million people, and abolishing Class 2 contributions, a tax cut worth an average of £350 per year.
  • Paying three million households the £150 Warm Home Discount this winter and 8.9 million pensioner households up to £600 in Winter Fuel Payments in December last year.
  • Providing the £650 Cost of Living Payments in 2022/23 and an additional cash boost on top of this payment including £300 to pensioner households; £150 to disabled individuals in 2022 and last year.
  • Capping single bus fares at £2 outside of London until the end of this year to help millions of people make significant savings on their travel costs. The fare cap has helped cut bus fares in England by 7.4% between June 2022 and June 2023.
  • Paying around half of the typical household energy bill between October 2022 and July 2023 through our Energy Price Guarantee and £400 support scheme.
  • Extending the 5p fuel duty cut and cancelling the planned increase – saving the average driver £100 this year.
  • Covering 85% of childcare costs for working households on Universal Credit, up from 70% under the legacy system – currently worth over £19,500-a-year for families with two children.
  • Expanding Free School Meals to 5 to 7-year-olds – benefitting 1.3 million children and boosting the value of Healthy Start vouchers by over a third – from £3.10 to £4.25.
  • Increasing the Universal Credit work allowance and cutting the taper rate, which was worth an extra £1,000 a year to families on Universal Credit.

Vulnerable people will continue to be supported with the cost of living from April this year by:

  • Uprating benefits in line with inflation by 6.7%.
  • Maintaining the triple lock and increasing the state pension by 8.5% - after the largest ever cash increase last year for around 12 million pensioners.
  • Investing £1.2 billion to restore Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rates, meaning 1.6 million private renters will see nearly £800 in additional help.
  • Increasing the National Living Wage by its largest ever cash amount in April – worth over £1,800 to the gross annual earnings of a full-time worker – and lowering the age threshold for eligibility by 2 years.

We encourage people in need of additional support over the winter to check their eligibility through the government’s Help for Households website for the various cost of living schemes that are place.

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