Nearly 25,000 people in Lewisham are in danger of losing their tax credits if they do not renew them by 31 July.

HM Revenue and Customs have issued a warning to claimants who face losing their payments, with a total of 24,500 people in Lewisham who have still not taken renewal action despite next week’s deadline.

The department recently published a list of reasons given for missing the deadline with reasons such as “my dog ate the form”, “the form was locked in the boot of my car, and then my car caught on fire” and “I didn’t need the money because I’d met a rich bloke, but then he dumped me.”

Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits, HMRC, said: “Time is running out for people to renew their tax credits, or they risk losing their money.

“The majority of people can renew online this year, which is quick, easy and can be done at a time of day to suit them.

“However way they choose to renew, the most important thing is to do it before 31 July.”

Last year saw more than 650,000 people who failed to renew on time.

HMRC asks all claimants to check the accuracy of the information in their renewals pack, and to tell the department about any changes to their circumstances that they haven’t already reported, such as to working hours, childcare costs or pay.