Claiming tax credits

Money Advice Service

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?

Important

Most people will not be able to make a new claim for 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.

You might still be able to claim Child Tax Credits if you or your partner are getting the Severe Disability Premium.

Find out more about claiming Universal Credit here.

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.

Find out more about claiming Universal Credit here.

You might still be able to claim Child Tax Credits if you or your partner are getting the Severe Disability Premium.

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.

If you think you might still be able to claim Working Tax Credit, take this short questionnaire to find out if you’re likely to qualify on Gov.uk.

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.

Find out more about what to do if you’re overpaid tax credits on GOV.UK.

Tax credits and a change of 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.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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