child tax credit
Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a tax credit designed to help families with dependent children. Universal Credit (UC) is replacing this tax credit, but if UC has not been rolled out fully in your area or you have three or more children, you may still be able to apply for CTC.
Universal Credit is currently available for families with fewer than three children in Brighton & Hove and throughout East Sussex except for Lewes. It is expected to be rolled out to Lewes in July 2018.
If your first child was born after 6th April 2017, you may only claim Child Tax Credit for the first two children, and any disabled children. There are some other exceptions, like adopted children (unless adopted by step-parents) and twins and triplets born to families with one or fewer children.
If you are on a low or middle income and have only modest savings you are likely to be entitled. You can claim for children under 16 and for children up to 20 if they are in full time education, studying up to A level or an equivalent standard, or if they are in unpaid, work-based training, as long as you are responsible for them and they usually live with you. This includes children who may be away at school in term times.
If they are 16 or 17, in some cases you may still be able to claim CTC for them up to 20 weeks after they left education or training, but they must meet certain criteria.
The Disabled Child Element of Child Tax Credit
If you have a child or young person who gets any rate of DLA or PIP, whether this is for care/daily living or mobility, any CTC you get will include an extra Disabled Child Element. If your child has been certified blind or severely sight-impaired they will also be eligible, even if they do not claim DLA or PIP.
If they get the high rate care component of DLA or the enhanced rate daily living component of PIP, any CTC will also include an additional Severely Disabled Child Element. These credits are in addition to all the tax credits available to other families.
CTC is more generous than other benefits. Maintenance payments, fostering and adoption allowances and most other benefits are disregarded as income when HMRC calculate your entitlement to tax credits. An exception is Carer’s Allowance, so be sure to tell HMRC if you get this. Student loans are disregarded, as are any student grants relating to dependent children, books, travel or equipment.
If you’ve only just found out about Tax Credits and your child has been getting DLA or PIP for some time, it’s worth telling HMRC that you may have been entitled to Tax Credits and giving details. CTC has a little more flexibility than other benefits to look retrospectively at your entitlement.
If your child’s entitlement to DLA or PIP changes, this may make a significant difference to your CTC award, so it’s in your interests to tell HMRC about this as soon as possible.
How do I get Child Tax Credit?
Telephone HMRC Tax Credit help line on 0345 300 3900 or speak to an advisor online using the Webchat service.
You can get a claim form online after answering a few questions to check your eligibility.