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Child Tax Credit

  1. Overview
  2. What you'll get
  3. Eligibility
  4. How to claim

1. Overview

You could get Child Tax Credit for each child you’re responsible for if they’re:

You don’t need to be working to claim Child Tax Credit.

You can’t claim tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time.

You get money for each child that qualifies and Child Tax Credit won’t affect your Child Benefit.

How much you get depends on your circumstances - you can use the tax credit calculator to work this out.

Only one household can get Child Tax Credit for a child.

From 6 April 2017, most people will only get the child element of Child Tax Credit for up to 2 children. You’ll still be able to claim it for more than 2 children if they were born before 6 April 2017.

2. What you'll get

You could get a basic amount of up to £545 a year. This is known as the ‘family element’.

From 6 April 2017, you will only get the family element of Child Tax Credit if you’re responsible for a child or children born before that date.

You could get extra elements on top of the family element.

How much you get depends on things like your income and circumstances, for example if your child is disabled.

This table shows the Child Tax Credit rates for the 2016 to 2017 tax year.

ElementsYearly amountFor each child (this is known as ‘the child element’)Up to £2,780For each disabled childUp to £3,140 (on top of the child element)For each severely disabled childUp to £1,275 (on top of the child element and the disabled child element)

Use the tax credit calculator to work out how much you could get.

How you’re paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account (a bank account, for example) of the person mainly responsible for the child.

You’re paid every week or every 4 weeks from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (5 April), unless your circumstances change.

Your income

Use the tax credit calculator to check if your income is too high for tax credits and work out what money you could get.

There’s no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner).

For example, it’s sometimes £26,100 for a one child family but can be higher if you pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled.

If your circumstances change

Your tax credits can go up or down if your family or work life change - for example, your child leaves home, your income changes or your partner dies.

You must report these changes to the Tax Credit Office.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren’t affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.

3. Eligibility

Eligibility depends on:

  • the child’s age
  • if you’re responsible for the child

Use the tax credits online tool to check if you qualify.

You can’t claim tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time.

There has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum.

The child’s age

To qualify the child must be:

Responsibility for a child

You’re usually responsible for a child if:

  • they live with you all the time
  • they normally live with you and you’re the main carer
  • they keep their toys and clothes at your home
  • you pay for their meals and give them pocket money
  • they live in an EEA country or Switzerland but are financially dependent on you

Contact the Tax Credit Helpline if you’re not sure you’re responsible for the child.

If you share responsibility for a child and you can’t agree who should claim you can both apply. The Tax Credit Office will decide for you.

You can claim for an adopted or fostered child if you’re not getting money from your local council (Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland). If you do get money call the Tax Credit Helpline to find out if you can claim.

If the child’s disabled

You may get extra Child Tax Credits if the child either:

You still qualify if Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment stops because the child goes into hospital.

Moving to the UK from the EEA

You must wait 3 months before claiming Child Tax Credit if you arrived in the UK from the EEA on or after 1 July 2014 and don’t work. There are someexceptions.

4. How to claim

You can order a claim form by either:

It takes up to 2 weeks for the form to arrive.

If you’re already claiming tax credits you don’t need a claim form - call the helpline to update your claim.

What you need to know

Only one household can get Child Tax Credit for a child.

You can claim at any time of the year and apply for Child and Working Tax Credits on the same claim form.

It can take up to 5 weeks to process a new claim.

You have to renew your claim once a year.

To support your claim, keep records of your income, bills, payslips, benefits, tax credits, childcare and your child’s education. Keep any records you have from the past 3 years.

Opening times:

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday 
8am to 4pm Saturday

Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Who to contact


Where to go

HM Revenue and Customs - Tax Credit Office
Comben House
Farriers Way
L75 1AX
Get directions to L75 1AX

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