Tax Credits – How They Work & Who Gets The Payments

If any of the following apply to you, then you will need to make a joint claim for tax credits:

  • Your are married
  • You are living together with a man or woman as if you are married
  • You are part of a civil partnership
  • You are a couple living together as if you are in a civil partnership

If you don’t have a partner – you will have to make a single claim and not a joint claim.

Working Tax Credits & Child Tax Credits are paid either weekly or every 4 weeks – directly into your bank account, building society account, Post Office® account, or into your National Savings Account if it accepts direct payments.

If you are claiming Child Tax Credits and you are a couple, you will have to decide which partner is the child’s or children’s main carer. The main carer will receive the money.

To apply for Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits, call the Tax Credits office: 0843 850 0861.

Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits are based on your personal circumstances and your income from the last “tax year”. The tax year finished on the 5 April. For example, if the date is between 6 April 2010 and 5 April 2011 – the last tax year would have finished on the 5 April 2010.

When making a new claim for Tax Credits, your payments will usually run from the date of your claim to the end of the tax year (5 April).

  • For example, if you make a claim on the 12th October 2010, your payments will be calculated from this date until the 5 April 2011.

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit claims can usually only be backdated up to 3 months, but in some cases longer – from the date your claim form for Tax Credits is received at the Tax Credit Office.

It may be worth checking with the Tax Credit Office or making a claim even if you think your income is too high – you may want to do this if you are expecting your income to decrease later in the year, maybe due to less hours or redundancy.

You should also let the Tax Credit Office know if you submit a claim for sickness or disability benefit, as that would mean you get additional tax credit payments. If you are later told you are entitled to the benefit, the extra Tax Credits payments will be backdated to the earliest possible date.

The Tax Credit Office will write to you every year during April, May and June, asking you to:

  • Check your personal information that the Tax Credit Office has is correct
  • Confirm your income to the Tax Credit Office for the year that has just finished
  • Renew your claim for Tax Credits

This information is required by the Tax Credit Office to check that your payments are correct, and also this information is used to calculate your Tax Credit payments for the next year (based on your income).

The Tax Credit Office may have paid you too much, or not enough. If this happens, an adjustment will be made to ensure you receive the correct amount.
Any Tax Credit payments made to you in the next tax year (i.e. from 6 April), to the date in which you renew your tax credit claim is temporary, and if you don’t renew your claim, you may have to pay them back.

To apply for Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits, call: 0843 850 0861.

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