Tax Credits while in Prison or On Remand

In most cases, tax credits will stop during remand or imprisonment. You must report any changes that affect your tax credits to the Tax Credit Office.

How Prison affects Working Tax Credit

Single Person

The Tax Credits Office need to know about any changes that affect your tax credits. Even so, Working Tax Credit will finish for a single person if:

  • You are on remand.
  • You are serving a sentence in prison.
  • You are in a young offenders’ institution.


Some exceptions apply for a couple if one partner goes to prison for a year or less. In this case, you may be able to continue claiming Working Tax Credit.

But, you must work a minimum number of WTC hours a week to qualify. Any work done while serving a sentence, or on remand, does not count.

How Prison affects Child Tax Credit

Single Person

If you are single with children, and you go to prison, your Child Tax Credit may stop. The Tax Credit Office will decide by looking at your circumstances, including:

  • Whether you are still responsible for looking after your child.
  • Whether you still have regular contact with your child.
  • How long the prison sentence will be.
  • Whether your child is with you in prison.

Note: The person who is looking after your child or children may be able to claim Child Tax Credit if you are not entitled to it.


What if you are in a couple and one of you goes to prison? In this case, your Child Tax Credit will continue. But, it only applies if you are a couple and only one of you goes on remand or to prison.

If Your Child goes to Prison

You will still receive Child Tax Credit if your child goes to prison for no more than four (4) months. But, you will not get Child Tax Credit for the rest of their sentence if it is longer than four months.

How to Contact the Tax Credit Office

You must report any changes to your personal or family circumstances to the Tax Credit Office. You can manage your tax credits online, by telephone, or by postal methods.


Staying in Touch with Someone in Prison | Check out the different methods of contacting a prisoner.

Support for Friends and Families of Prisoners | Getting support and advice if you know someone in prison.

How Prison affects Your Tax Credits in United Kingdom