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Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit Entitlement 2018

What is Working Tax Credit? WTC is a means-tested benefit used to boost weekly earnings of working people on low income.

WTC CHANGES: The government is integrating Working Tax Credit into its eventual replacement called Universal Credit.

Use this guide to find out if you are eligible for WTC. There is extra information for those who already qualify for Working Tax Credits.

Working Tax Credit eligibility 2018 depends most on whether:

You must be working a minimum number of hours a week and get paid for the work you do. Your income needs to be below the Working Tax Credit threshold 2018 to get the benefit.

The tax credits table below shows the basic amount for Working Tax Credit entitlement 2018. In some cases, this means tested benefit may be worth up to £1,960 a year. The Working Tax Credit amount you get will depend on your circumstances and your income.

Those without children can still apply for Working Tax Credit. You may also qualify if you are on leave from work or ready to start a new job.

Note: The Working Tax Credit calculator works out how much WTC you can get. But, Universal Credit is replacing tax credits so you cannot claim both at the same time.

Working Tax Credits Entitlement Table

The extra amounts you can get on top of the basic amount are better known as the 'elements'. Currently, the basic amount could grant you £1,960 a year.

Working Tax Credit Elements Working Tax Credit Entitlement
If you are in a couple and applying together WTC up to £2,010 a year
If you are a single parent WTC up to £2,010 a year
If you work at least 30 hours a week WTC up to £810 a year
If you have a disability WTC up to £3,000 a year
If you have a severe disability WTC up to £1,290 a year (usually on top of the disability payment)
If you pay for approved childcare WTC up to £122.50 (1 child) or £210 (2 or more children) a week

Money from Working Tax Credit goes directly into your bank or building society account. The date when benefits are paid varies but WTC is either every week or every 4 weeks.

Couples must choose only one account to receive the payments. As a rule, your payments begin from your claim date up to the end of the tax year (5th of April).

Working Tax Credit if Your Circumstances Change

Tax credits often go up and go down when your work circumstances or family life change. Common examples includes starting a new job, getting laid off work, or if your partner passes away.

Note: You must report changes affecting tax credits to the Tax Credit Office.

Working Tax Credit Eligibility Criteria

WTC eligibility depends mostly on your age and how many hours of paid work you complete in a week. Income and household circumstances can also affect how much you get. The Working Tax Credits questionnaire helps you check if you qualify.

WTC Age Eligibility

You must be at least 16 years old to qualify for Working Tax Credit. If you do not have children (or a disability) you must be at least 25 years old to qualify.

WTC Hours You Work

Working Tax Credit Claim FormThe Working Tax Credit table shows how many hours you need to work per week to qualify.

Your Age and Circumstance How Many Hours Work Qualifies
Age 25 to 59 A minimum of 30 hours
Age 60 or over A minimum of 16 hours
Disabled A minimum of 16 hours
Single with one or more children A minimum of 16 hours
Couple with one or more children As a rule, a minimum of 24 hours between you (one must work at least 16 hours)

Note: A child is someone who is under 16 (under 20 if in approved education or training). You can also use the online tax credits calculator to see if you work the adequate number of hours.

WTC Exceptions for Couples (with children)

Couples with at least one child can claim if the total you both is work less than 24 hours a week. That is providing one of these situations apply:

Working Tax Credits Work Conditions for Claiming

To count as work, the working practices for qualification can be carried out:

Those who are Self-employed

In some cases you may not be eligible for Working Tax Credit if you are self-employed. Generally, your self-employed work must intend to make profits to qualify for WTC. The business must be commercial, organised, and regular.

Therefore self employed workers may not be eligible for Working Tax Credit unless they:

There may be times when the average hourly profit from self-employment is less than the National Minimum Wage. In this case the Tax Credit Office may request:

Your Pay and Salary Threshold

The work you carry out must last at least 4 weeks (or expected to) and it must be paid work. Your salary (or expected pay) can include payment in kind. Thus, farm produce for a farm labourer would qualify, for example).

Exceptions to this Rule: Paid work does not include money if it gets paid:

Working Tax Credit has no set limit for income. This is because it depends on your family circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, the limit is £18,000 for a couple without children.

Yet, it is £13,100 for a single person without children. In both cases it can be higher if you have children, one of you has a disability, or you pay for approved childcare.

How to Claim Working Tax Credit

You can request a Working Tax Credit claim form using the online tool or by contacting the Tax Credits Office. The form usually takes 2 weeks to arrive. Informing the Tax Credit Office about a change in your circumstances does not require a claim form.

You will need to prepare certain documents and information when you call including:

You can claim any time of the year after starting a new job. You can usually start claiming 7 days before you start it if you are on benefits. For example receiving Income Support or the Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) benefit. Use the same form to apply for Child and Working Tax Credit.

Processing a new claim can take up to 5 weeks. Remember you will need to renew your claim once every year to keep it running. You should keep records of your income, bills, and payslips to support your claim. You should also keep benefits, tax credits, childcare and your child’s education records. Keep all documentation you have from the previous 3 years.

Working Tax Credit Help and Information

Leave From Work and Employment Gaps

You can still get Working Tax Credit for certain periods when you are not working. For example if you:

Your entitlement may still qualify for a certain period of time. You must contact the Tax Credit Office if you do not make a return to work at the end of the leave period.

Your Circumstance The Period You Get Tax Credits
You lose or leave your job For 4 weeks
You are on Maternity Leave For the first 39 weeks of your leave
You are on Adoption Leave For the first 39 weeks of your leave
You are on Paternity Leave For the period of your ordinary paternity leave
You are on Additional Paternity Leave Up to the equivalent 39th week of your partner's leave
You are off sick (Statutory Sick Pay) For the first 28 weeks
You are On Strike For the first 10 days
You get laid off work For 4 weeks after you get laid off or the lay off becomes indefinite

Qualifying Rules

The qualifying rules state you must have:

Note: You may still qualify if you were self employed. That is only if you would have got Statutory Sick Pay or an equivalent benefit had you been employed.

Equivalent benefits are Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support (incapacity for work element). You can also add National Insurance credits (incapacity for work element) to that list.

Working Tax Credit Eligibility Criteria and Entitlement in the United Kingdom