The Tax Credits Helpline is there to provide help and guidance with any queries you may have about Tax Credits. They can advise you on new and existing claims, based on your individual circumstances, and on forthcoming changes to the system.
Tax Credits are regular payments made by the government to individuals and families who qualify for them; your right to claim depends on your financial and other circumstances. They are awarded for a period of 12 months and you must renew your claim every year to continue receiving them. The two most usual Tax Credits in the United Kingdom are Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits, with many people entitled to both. Give the Tax Credits Helpline a call for further information
If you have already been awarded Tax Credits, you will be sent a letter at the appropriate time (usually between April and June) asking you to renew your claim. This simply entails completing a form that asks you to check that the information held about you is still accurate, and also to confirm details of any income earned. The Tax Credit Office will then assess your claim to ensure that you are being awarded the correct amount. Renewals have to be submitted prior to the end of July so, if you have not received your renewal letter by the end of June, it is very important that you contact the Tax Credits Helpline to inform them of this as soon as possible. You may also contact the Tax Credits Helpline if you need any help filling in the forms.
New claims can only be backdated for a maximum of three months and will normally run from the date of the claim until the end of the tax year in April.
If you are currently claiming, or you are thinking of claiming, you should be aware that some major changes are due to take place from April 2012. Further information about these changes, and how they might affect you, is available from the Tax Credits Helpline.
Who is entitled to claim Tax Credits?
Most people in a lower income bracket are entitled to Working Tax Credits and nine out of ten families with children in the UK qualify for Child Tax Credits. Indeed, many working families with children are entitled to both. If you think you might be entitled to claim but haven’t, you should call the Tax Credit Helpline today for advice and to request an information pack.
Working Tax Credit
Whether you qualify for Working Tax Credit will depend on the number of hours you work in any given week and the number of hours worked that you actually get paid for. Both self-employed people and employees can claim Working Tax Credit; however, any kind of unpaid work or voluntary work does not count towards it.
Child Tax Credit
You may be entitled to claim Child Tax Credit if you are responsible for at least one child or young person. That child or young person must normally live with you and be in your care. Whether or not you are working has no relevance to your entitlement to claim Child Tax Credit.
How much can I claim?
How much you are able to claim in Tax Credits will depend on several things:
- The number of children you have living with you
- Whether you live alone or with a spouse or partner
- Whether you work and, if you do, how many hours you work every week
- Whether you have to pay for childcare
- Whether you or any child that lives with you have a disability
- Whether you are aged 50 years or over and are now coming off benefits
The HMRC calculations that classify entitlement are very complex but basically, the lower your income, the more likely you are to be entitled to claim Tax Credits. For up-to-date information about rates and thresholds, please contact the Tax Credits Helpline.
If you are claiming Tax Credits and your circumstances change, it’s very important that you inform the Tax Credit Office as soon as possible. You can do this by writing to them or by calling the Tax Credits Helpline.
The Tax Credits Helpline (0843 850 2102) is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm on Saturday.