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Answers to FAQs About Child Tax Credit

Chapters

1. Who can claim Child Tax Credit?
2. What happens if my domestic situation changes?
3. How is the Child Tax Credit amount calculated?
4. How do I claim a change in my Child Tax Credit?



Child Tax Credit is the stipulated amount that adult guardians (over the age of 16) in the UK receive every year for childcare. While it is supposed to be a scheme that benefits every parent, the legal and administrative jargon often discourages people from claiming the money.

However, with proper knowledge and guidance, you can enrol in tax credit schemes in little to no time. ✅ But how do you go about it? 

In this article, we answer a few FAQs that shed light on the Child Tax Credit scheme and the various processes behind it. 

Jar with money Who can claim Child Tax Credit? 🤔

 

If we’re talking about new applications, no one. As things stand, the authorities are replacing Child Tax Credit with the more general Universal Credit. This means that anyone who isn’t already receiving child tax benefits can’t enrol for it. 

However, you can still claim tax credits to help take care of your children through the Universal Credit scheme. As for people already receiving Child Tax Credits, you won’t have to make any changes until the authorities transfer your household over to the Universal Credit payroll. This might take anywhere between six months to a couple of years. 

 

What happens if my domestic situation changes? 🏡

 

Unfortunately, you will not be able to avail of Child Tax Credit benefits if your domestic situation changes in any way. This includes:

🟢 A partner joining the household 

If you claim Child Tax Credits as a single person, having a partner join your household will disqualify you from the payroll. If you are yet unsure about the future of your relationship with your partner, avoid joint bank accounts, bills, or anything else that establishes you having a partner. If that isn’t possible, you can apply for child support through the universal credit scheme. 

🟢 A partner leaving the household 

Naturally, if yours is a joint Child Tax Credit claim, separating from the partner will disqualify both of you from the payroll. This isn't necessary if both partners still ‘jointly’ support the household for all legal purposes. If not, either parent can make a Universal credit claim instead. 

🟢 Children between the ages of 16 to 20 

Children between the ages of 16 to 20 are only considered valid beneficiaries for the Child Tax Credit scheme if they are currently receiving ‘relevant education or approved training’. The parents of these children have to confirm to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) each year before 31st August that the child is still receiving relevant education. Failure to do this will disqualify the household from the payroll. 

 

How much is child tax credit and how is the Child Tax Credit amount calculated? 

 

The Child Tax Credit amount comprises various elements, all of which have their own qualifying criteria. You are eligible for all elements where your household situation meets the criteria.  

  • Family Element: Available if you are responsible for any number of children/young people born before 6 April 2017. 
  • Child Element: Available for all children born before 6 April 2017 and only up to two children born after the date. 
  • Disabled Child Element: If the qualifying child or young person is disabled or severely disabled (severely disabled children suffering from palsy, etc., receive more help). 

The amount calculated after considering all these elements is then compared to your net annual income (includes the interest on your savings). This finally brings us to the amount your household is entitled to. 💷

 

How do I claim a change in my Child Tax Credit?

 

Any changes to the Child Tax Credit (which may be because your Work Tax Credit, etc., entitles you to a higher amount now) can be made by contacting HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They can be contacted on the child tax credit phone number or website:

Telephone 📞: on 0345 300 3900 (or the Relay service 18001 0345 300 3900)

Website 💻 : at  Gov.UK: Manage Your Tax Credits

The HMRC also needs to be contacted to renew your existing claim every year. Failure to do this may disqualify you from the payroll.

To claim changes to your Child Tax Credit, you will require:

  • Your national insurance number (optional) 📝
  • Proof of your identity, for example, birth certificate, passport or driving licence
  • Proof of your annual income, for example, P60, bank statements or payslips.

Any households that qualify for the two-child limit exception bracket also require:

  • Adoption certificate
  • Social worker’s declaration (for kinship care placements)
  • Support worker’s declaration (for children conceived as a result of sexual assault).

All of your claims can be made up to 31 days past the annual due date. 

While the Child Tax Credit scheme is discontinued as of 2021, there are many other ways to claim Child Support (like Universal Credit). However, it is worth bearing in mind that any legal changes in the household situation may disqualify you from the Child Tax Credit payroll.

However, it is essential to inform HMRC about any changes in your household. With the correct information and documents, making changes to your Child Tax Credit situation is easy.

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