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A Guide To Child Tax Credits

If you have children you may be entitled to Child Tax Credits. Use this guide to understand how to apply for the payments. [box type=”info” style=”rounded” align=”right”]Call Child Tax Credits now on 0843 658 6843[/box]

How to Qualify

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You could get Child Tax Credit for each child you are responsible for if they are under 16 or under 20 and in ‘approved’ training. You do not have to be working to claim, you can get it for each child you have and it won’t affect any Child Benefit claims. The amount you get will depend on your individual circumstances.

What You Will Receive

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You could receive a basic amount of up to £545 a year- this is known as the family element. You may also be eligible for extra elements on top of this, depending on factors such as your income and circumstances, for example, if one of your children suffers from a disability.

Child Tax Credit Rates for the 2015/2016 tax year

For each individual child         Up to £2,780.

For each disabled child            Up to £3,140.

For a severely disabled child   Up to £1,275 on top of the two elements mentioned above.

How Child Tax Credits Is Paid

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Like any type of benefits, pension or allowance, Child Tax Credits are paid into an account, such as a bank account of the person who is mostly responsible for the child. You will be paid every week or every month up until the end of the tax year, which ends on April 5th, providing your circumstances do not change.

Your income can affect tax credits. There is no set limit for income because it depends on your individual circumstances, as well as those of your partner. For example, in one case the limit could be £26,500 for a one child family but it could be higher than that if the child is disabled or you pay more for approved childcare.

When circumstances change your tax credits can go up or down. If your child leaves home, your income changes or your partner dies, you must report these changes to the Tax Credit Office.

Eligibility

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Being eligible for tax credits depends on the age of the child that you are claiming for and if you are responsible for them.

In order to qualify, the child must be under 16 (you can claim until the 31st August after their 16th birthday) or under 20 and in approved education or training, such as education for more than 12 hours a week (i.e. A Levels, NVQs, traineeships.) Unfortunately, BTEC or university courses do not count as approved. Approved training includes apprenticeships and pathways, general contracted jobs are not included.

Responsibility for a child can be decided by examining a range of factors such as: living arrangements- do they live with you all the time?, are you the main carer? do they keep their clothes and toys at your house? and lastly, if you pay for their meals and give them pocket money. If you share joint custody and you are not sure who is most responsible for the child, both parents can apply and the tax office will decide for you.

You can also claim for a fostered or adopted child if you do not receive money from your local council.

Ways to Claim

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If this is your first time claiming tax credits, you can order a claim form online by using the tax credits calculator or online tool found on the Government website. Alternatively, you can order one by calling Tax Credits. If you are already claiming, you just need to call the helpline to get your claim updated. A new claim can take five weeks to process and you must renew your claim once per year.