Written by: Stephanie Withers
Juggling a demanding job with a busy family life, it’s no wonder that many working mums and dads are simply too busy to check what they’re entitled to from the Government, but you could be eligible for more than you think.
There are millions of pounds in potential Child Tax Credits unclaimed in the UK every year. It’s worth investigating as these could benefit you and your family. Fancy hearing more? Here’s a guide to what they are and how you can claim:
Child Tax Credits Explained:
Basically put, Child Tax Credit is a payment for people with children, whether they are in or out of work. Child Tax Credit is in addition to Child Benefit and the amount you can receive is based on your family circumstances and gross income. However, most people raising children can get some help even if they don’t have a very low salary.
The Child Tax Credit comes in two parts: There is the basic amount known as the ‘family element’ worth up to £545 a year, and an extra amount known as ‘child elements’ worth up to £2,690 a year for each child in your family. Further payments are available for disabled children, worth up to £2,950, and for severely disabled children there’s an additional £1,190.
Only one household can get Child Tax Credit, therefore couples must make a joint claim. If the parents have split then the money is typically paid directly to the person caring for the child or with whom the child normally lives.
Child Tax Credits usually stop after your child’s 16th birthday, but they can remain a qualifying ‘young person’ up to their 20th birthday – providing they are in approved education, training or registered with a careers service. For this they must be accepted onto the course before their 19th birthday.
It’s important to note that Child Tax Credit does not include help with the costs of childcare. If this is something you feel you need assistance with then you might also be interested in the Working Tax Credit, which does include some help towards childcare. The Working Tax Credit is designed to help people on low incomes, the payouts once again being means tested.
How to claim:
To make a claim you should contact the Tax Credit Helpline for a claim form. Bear in mind that it can take up to 2 weeks for the form to arrive, but don’t worry: You can make your claim at any time of the year. If approved, you’ll then be paid from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (April 5th). You must renew your claim annually.
As recommended on the GOV.UK website, to support your claim you should have your national insurance numbers and, records about your income, bills, payslips, benefits, tax credits, childcare and your child’s education all close to hand.
For more information visit:
- The Tax Credits advice guide from Citizens Advice
- The Gov.uk website Tax Credits help guide
- The Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900