There are many parents in the UK today who are claiming Child Tax Credits to help supplement their income if they are in low paid jobs. Likewise, there are just as many who are not claiming these Tax Credits, so it is worth while examining what they are and how you, as a parent, may be entitled to them if you are not already claiming them.
What are Child Tax Credits?
Child Tax Credits is financial assistance given to anyone caring or responsible for a child while they are working for more than 16 hours a week. These credits are designed to help bolster an otherwise low income and are also awarded as a means of helping to pay for childcare. Tax Credits are awarded to any British citizen who is over the age of 16 and is responsible for a child, and can also be paid to anyone over the age of 25 who works for more than 30 hours a week and is responsible for the care of a child.
Claiming Child Tax Credit
You can, as we have already mentioned, claim for Child Tax Credits if you are looking after or are responsible for a child and are working. You can also apply for Child Tax Credits if you are disabled or are unemployed.
You can apply for Child Tax Credit by downloading the forms from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website. You can also claim Tax Credits if you are not married but are legally registered as the child’s parents – as in a common-law relationship or civil partnership (same sex marriage or relationship).
Do I Qualify for Child Tax Credits?
If you fall into any of the categories we have mentioned, be it a single parent, a guardian legally registered to look after a child or children, or a member of a civil partnership, you may be eligible for Tax Credits. You may also be eligible if you are disabled or are unemployed and claiming Income Support or Job Seeker's Allowance.
Child Tax Credits are also applicable if you have to pay for childcare – particularly if you have a child who is still in their infancy while you are at work. If this is the case then the individual – who must be registered with the local authority as a child minder – will be paid directly for the provision of care for your child or children while you are at work.
Council Tax Benefit
If you are on a low income and are receiving Tax Credits – or claiming Child Tax Credits – you may also be eligible for assistance with your Council Tax. As most of us are aware, council tax is steadily on the increase so assistance with this is vital if you are on a low income.
It is important that if you are currently not in receipt of such Tax Credits and have not set about claiming Child Tax Credits that you enquire as to your eligibility as soon as you can. In some cases, HMRC may be able to back date the payments. If you are unsure as to the validity of your claim, contact either HMRC or visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau.