Tax credits help to boost your household income and can be worth thousands of pounds each year. But, both Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits are being replaced by Universal Credit and most people will have to make new claims will be for Universal Credit instead. This page tells you more about what tax credits are, how they’re affected by Universal Credit and what to do if you’re already getting them.
What are tax credits?
Most people will not be able to make a new claim or Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit as they’re being replaced by Universal Credit.
Tax credits are payments from the government straight into your bank account.
There are currently two types available:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit.
Both of these are being replaced by Universal Credit.
Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit
Most people will now have to claim the Child element and/or the Childcare costs element of Universal Credit if you are making a claim for help with the costs of bringing up children.
You must be responsible for children aged under 16, or aged 16 to 19 and in full-time education, but not advanced education, like university.
If you or your partner qualify for Pension Credit you will also be able to make a new claim for Tax Credits.
Child Tax Credit if you have three or more children
If you’re making a new Child Tax Credit claim, support is limited to the first two children (unless you have a multiple birth or have adopted).
You’ll also no longer be able to claim the family element.
You’ll still be able to claim the disabled child premium for any of your children who are eligible to get it.
If you’re already claiming Child Tax Credits and you have more than two children, you won’t be affected by the changes.
Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit
Most people now can’t make a new claim for Working Tax Credit and have to claim Universal Credit instead. If you get Universal Credit there is no limit to the number of hours you work. Your Universal Credit payment goes down as your earnings go up.
You might still be able to claim Working Tax Credit if either you or your partner is of Pension Credit age.
Working Tax Credit is based on the hours you work and how much you earn.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an employee or self-employed.
You don’t have to have children to qualify for Working Tax Credit, but if you do, you might be entitled to more.
How to claim tax credits
If you’re eligible to claim Tax Credits you’ll need to fill in form TC600.
You can get this form by:
Tax credits and overpayments
Tax credits awards are estimates, which are finalised after you’ve renewed your claim each year.
The amount by which your income can change before you have to tell the Tax Credit Office is £2,500. This is called the income disregard.
Tax credits and a change or circumstances
You must tell the Tax Credit Office within 30 days if you have a change of circumstances, such as:
- losing or getting a job
- having a baby
- a partner moving in or out
This might mean you will have to make a new claim for Universal Credit. The Tax Credit Office will tell you what you need to do.
Call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 to let them know about any changes to your circumstances.
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