Most claimants should now be aware that Universal Credit has replaced the Child Tax Credit benefit payment.
Even so, you do not need to be working to claim Child Tax Credits (CTC). Use this help guide to check how much you could get if you are responsible for one or more children.
The rollout of Universal Credit affects who can claim CTC. But, you will be able to make a new claim for Child Tax Credit UK 2021 if (either):
What if a child you are responsible for has already turned sixteen (16) years old? In this case, you would still be able to make a claim up to the 31st of August after they reach their 16th birthday.
There may be other options available even if you cannot make a new claim for Child Tax Credit. Check other help guides to see whether you can apply for:
Several factors determine the exact amount that you might get. As a rule, it would depend on how many children you are responsible for, and whether:
Important: Claiming for Child Tax Credit does not affect claims for Child Benefit. But, you can only claim Child Tax Credit for the children that you have responsibility for (see further details below).
The amount of CTC that you could get when making a new claim will depend on when the children were born.
If this applies to your situation, you should get the 'family element' for all your children. You should also qualify for the 'child element' of Child Tax Credit.
In this situation, you should get the 'child element' for up to two (2) children, or more, if the exceptions to the 2 child limit apply to you. But, you will only get the 'family element' if at least one child was born before the 6th of April 2017.
As a rule, arriving in the UK from an EEA country on or after the 1st July 2014 means you would need to wait three (3) months before claiming Child Tax Credit (unless you are working). Some exceptions apply for tax credits when moving to the United Kingdom (e.g. for refugees).
Note: The rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK remains unchanged until 2021. The scheme to grant 'settled status for EU citizens and their families' has now opened.
Note: The main section has further information and free guidance to help you manage your tax credits online.
The total amount of Child Tax Credit you can get depends on several circumstances within your household.
Important: You must report changes that affect your tax credits to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
In this case, you should get the 'family element' and the 'child element' for children born before the 6th of April 2017.
Having another child since the 6th April 2017 means you may only get the 'child element' for that child if it is the second child you claim for. In some cases, you may also get the child element if you have more than two children.
You should get the child element for up to two (2) children and you might get the child element for more children. If one of the children was born before the 6th of April 2017 you should also qualify for the family element.
You would get the child element for all your children if they were all born before the 6th of April 2017. In this case, you would also qualify for the basic amount as well (called the 'family element').
Note: You must renew your claim each year. It is a good idea to keep records of your child's education to support your claim. You may also need verification of your bills, income, benefits, payslips, tax credits and childcare. Keep the records available for inspection for at least three (3) years.
To qualify for CTC your child must be under 16 years old (the cut off is the 31st August after their 16th birthday).
The usual circumstances that may qualify you as responsible for a child, would be when (any can apply):
Note: You should contact HMRC tax credits general enquiries if you are unsure about your responsibility for a child. HMRC would also make a decision on cases where adults share responsibility for a child and cannot agree who should make the claim.
You can also claim for an adopted or fostered child if you are not already receiving money from your local council. The same process goes by the name of the Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland.
You can contact HMRC to find out whether you can claim money for your child if you are already receiving payments from the council.
Providing you qualify, you can start a claim for Child Tax Credit by telephoning HM Revenue and Customs.
As a general rule, processing a new claim will take around five (5) weeks.
HM Revenue and Customs
Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Textphone: 0345 300 3909
Outside UK: +44 2890 538 192
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 4pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Telephone call rates.
Giving wrong information to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can result in a fine up to £3,000.
The basic amount has an upper threshold of £545. It gets paid out each year for the 'family element' but you may get extra elements on top. It will depend on your circumstances, income, and whether your child has a disability.
As a rule, the amount you get depends on your family circumstances and your household income. Child Tax Credit regulations allow one CTC payment per household. You cannot claim for Universal Credit at the same time.
Note: Use the tax credits calculator 2021 for working out the amount you might get for the current tax year (6th April to 5th April).
Claimants will receive Child Tax Credits in the same way as most other benefits, pensions, and allowances.
CTC payments will be paid into a secure account (e.g. deposited into a bank or a building society account) held by the main person responsible for the child or children.
Providing you have not reported any changes in circumstances, you will get a one off payment every week or every four (4) weeks.
Note: CTC payments start from the date of your claim up to the end of the financial tax year (the 5th of April). Remember some Child Tax Credit bank holiday payments may affect the date you actually receive the benefit.
You may also get the extra Child Tax Credits payment if the youngster you are responsible for is (either):
Important: You would still qualify if the child goes into hospital and any of these welfare benefits stop.
Your income may be too high for tax credits. But, you can use a tax credit calculator to work out what you qualify for. The limit depends on your personal circumstances as well as those of your partner.
You must report any changes in your circumstances to the Tax Credit Office. Any time your family or work life changes it can make your tax credits can go up or go down.
The common reasons include a change in your income, your child leaves home, or the death of a partner.
Note: The benefit cap is a system which limits the amount of benefits people aged 16 to 64 can receive.
Child Benefit dates 2021 are monthly. Payments are usually made on a Monday or Tuesday more often than any other week day for most claimants. Child Benefit payments may get sent early if the due date falls on a bank holiday.
Tax-free Child Benefit payments help towards the cost of raising children. As a rule, a single parent can claim Child Benefit payments of £21.05 per week for the eldest or only child until they turn 16 years old (exceptions apply for children age 16 to 19 years). In some cases you get £13.95 for other children if you have more than one.
Tax credits payment dates are set at every week or sometimes every four (4) weeks. But, the claim form offers you a choice of how often you get paid. Check tax credits payment dates 2021 over Christmas and bank holidays.
The online government Tax Credits service is the system for Child Tax Credit change address or bank details. Login to your HMRC Government Gateway account to make changes to your bank account or manage your tax credits.
The link gives you options to create a Government Gateway account, get help if you forgot your password, or chat to HMRC advisor online.
Check the rates for making a telephone call from a landline or mobile. Find the current phone call rates for all the most popular numbers such as 0800, 0808, 0845, 0870, 03 and others.
Note: The short HMRC video [3:27 seconds] explains more about how and when to notify them about a change in circumstances for Tax Credits purposes.
Child Tax Credit Rates, Claims, and Payments in United Kingdom