How to claim your Tax Credits
Billions of pounds of Tax Credits are unclaimed every year by people either forgetting to claim or not bothering. Make sure you don't miss out with my step-by-step guide.
Each year in the UK we are wasting £7.3 billion in income-related Tax Credits by failing to claim the money we’re entitled to.
This is because people are forgetting to claim, or not claiming at all, benefits such as Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits, according to figures from unbiased.co.uk.
If you think you might be eligible it’s easy to register and if you’re already receiving Tax Credits check out our article to make sure you renew them on time.
What are Tax Credits?
Child Tax Credit is available for people who are responsible for at least one child, whereas Working Tax Credit is for people on lower incomes. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for one or both of these.
The money is paid into your account each month, and every year you need to renew the credit to make sure you're receiving the right amount and if your circumstances change at all, for example you get a new job or have another child, you need to tell the Tax Office immediately.
How much money can you get?
This depends entirely on your own circumstances. The Tax Office considers factors such as: how many children you have, if you live alone or in a couple, if you pay for childcare, how many hours you work and if your child has a disability.
As a rule of thumb, if your annual salary is not higher than any of the following limits, you are probably entitled to Tax Credits:
- £26,000 if you have one child
- £32,000 with two children
- £13,000 for single people without children
- £18,000 for a couple without children
When should you claim?
You need to make a claim as soon as you think you qualify, otherwise you’ll join the thousands of other people missing out on this benefit. Credits can only be backdated by a month, so you really will be missing out.
If you live with someone else as a couple you need to make a joint claim, which means filling out information about both of you on the form. For Child Tax Credits you can claim as soon as a baby is born, and with Working Tax Credit you need to wait until you’ve been in the job for seven days.
How do you claim Tax Credits?
In the first instance you need to fill out a claim form, which you can find in a tax claims pack that you can get by calling the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900. The service isn't available online and the phone line is open from 8am until 8pm from Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturday.
Before you call the helpline to ask for a claims form, you'll need the following documents to hand:
- Your income for the last tax year if you were employed (you can find this on a P60 or your final payslip)
- Income if you were self-employed
- Any benefits you’re already receiving
- Other sources of income, such as interest from savings accounts, pensions or rent
- Childcare payments you are currently making
- National insurance number
Where do you send the form?
Within the claim pack there will be guidance notes to take you through each step and if you need advice you can call the helpline. When you’ve completed the claim form, you need to send it off to the following address:
HM Revenue & Customs Tax Credits
If you’re receiving any other benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can hand in the form to your local Jobcentre Plus branch or Social Security Office for those living in Northern Ireland.