Child Tax Credit

What is Child Tax Credit?

Child Tax Credit is designed to assist with the costs of bringing up children. You do not have to be in work to claim Child Tax Credit.

To claim Child Tax Credit you must be the parent or carer of at least one child under 16 (or under 20 if in full time education at school or college).  The income limits for getting payments of Child Tax Credit depend on your individual family situation.  As a rough guide you are unlikely to get any Child Tax Credits if:

  • you have one child and your annual income is more than around £26,000
  • you have two children and your annual income is more than around £32,200

Please remember this is only a rough guide and income limits may be different for individual circumstances, for instance, if you have a disabled child, use registered childcare or have more than two children.

It may be worth applying for Child Tax Credit even if you are not eligible in your current situation.  If you have an open claim and your financial situation changes you may be able to get Tax Credits backdated to the beginning of the financial year.

Child Tax Credit consists of a number of elements. The maximum value of each element (2013 to 2014 tax year) is listed below however the amount you get depends on your income.

  • Family Element - paid because you have one or more children - up to £10.48 per week (£545 per annum)
  • Child Element - paid for each child in your family - up to £52.30 per week (£2,720 per annum)
  • Disabled Child Element - paid if you have a child who receives Disability Living Allowance up to £57.98 per week (£3,015 per annum)
  • Severely Disabled Child Element - paid if you have a child who receives the higher element of Disability Living Allowance - up to £23.46 per week (£1,220 per annum)  

Please note:

  • Child Tax Credit will not affect your Child Benefit
  • Only 1 household can get Child Tax Credit for a child

How do I apply?

For an application form:

  • phone the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 or 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0845 300 3909). Lines are open from 8am - 8pm seven days a week. You are unable to apply online.
  • Some parents may gain by having their Tax Credit entitlement calculated on their income in the current tax year (as opposed to the last complete tax year). You must ask by phone or letter if you would like this calculation. If your family income increases by more than £10,000 you must have your Tax Credits calculated on the current tax years income.

What if my circumstances change?

You must inform the Tax Credit Helpline (0845 300 3900 or 0345 300 3900) if:

  • the number of children in your household changes;
  • your childcare costs change or you start paying for childcare;
  • one of your children leave school;
  • your income changes;
  • you were claiming as a lone parent and become part of a couple;
  • you were claiming as part of a couple and became a lone parent.

Changes in income

  • If your income drops in the current tax year (2013/2014) by less than £2,500 the Tax Credit Office will disregard this drop in income and you will not be able to get extra Tax Credit during that tax year.
  • If your income drops by more than £2,500 your Tax Credit payments may go up.
  • If your income increases in the current tax year by less than £5,000 your Tax Credit will probably not be affected in the financial year.
  • if your income increases in the current tax year by more than £5,000 your Tax Credit is likely to go down.

Family Finance Estimates

The Family Information Service (FIS) at ask is able to give estimates of Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit over the phone.

To do this we use a web based facility. Personal information (details of income, age etc.) is needed to give an estimate. Although we ask for callers’ names and contact details to record enquiries, no information that could identify an individual is entered on the Estimator.  Please contact the LoCall Helpline on 08457 585072 for more information. 

Useful Links

HM Revenue & Customs:


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