Families 'miss out on £1.5 billion child tax credits'

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The Independent Culture

Families will collectively miss out on £1.5 billion this year through failing to claim child tax credits they are entitled to, research indicated today.

Around 9% of people who are eligible for the child tax credit during the current financial year are expected not to not claim it, missing out on an average of £3,411 each, according to professional advice group unbiased.co.uk.

The group said the number of people failing to pick up the benefit was 1% higher than in 2009-10, when 8% of eligible families failed to claim it.

The research also found that a quarter of pensioners are failing to claim the pension credit, and are expected to collectively miss out on £2.4 billion this year.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: "People are missing out on huge quantities of money this year by failing to claim child tax credits or pension credits to which they are entitled.

"The system has been set up to help those who need it most and quite simply if you don't claim your credit, it expires.

"We would urge people to get their financial planning in order and review their current situation today to ensure they aren't missing out on what is rightfully theirs."

The research was carried out by RAKM and was based on official data, including figures from HM Revenue & Customs.