Your tax credits can go up, down or stop if there are changes in your family or work life - you must report these changes to the Tax Credit Office.

Why your tax credits change

Your payments can go up because:

  • your income goes down by more than £2,500
  • your benefits stop or go down
  • you have a child
  • your childcare costs go up

Your payments can go down or stop because:

  • your income goes up by more than £5,000
  • you haven’t renewed your claim
  • your award notice shows you’ve been overpaid
  • your child is now 16, 18 or 19 and you haven’t told the Tax Credit Office they’re in approved education or training

Work or family changes you must report

You could miss out on tax credits you’re entitled to if your circumstances change and you don’t report it.

If you receive tax credits you’re not entitled to, this is called ‘being overpaid’. You must repay any overpaid money, and you may receive a penalty of up to £300.

If your income goes up by more than £5,000 report it immediately or you may get an overpayment.

Circumstance When to report the change
Income changes As soon as possible
Benefits start, stop or change As soon as possible
Job starts, stops or changes Within 1 month
Work hours fall below or increase above the minimum Within 1 month
Work hours fall below or increase to 30 a week if you’re in a couple with children Within 1 month
You don’t return to work after a gap or leave Within 1 month
Relationship starts or ends - eg you live with a new partner, get a permanent separation or divorce Within 1 month
Childcare costs start, stop, change by more than £10 per week or you start or stop getting help with them Within 1 month
Childcare provider changes or is no longer registered or approved Within 1 month
Baby born or you take responsibility for another child Within 1 month
Child leaves home - eg taken into care, moves out Within 1 month
Child over 16 stays in or leaves approved education or training Within 1 month
Child over 16 joins an approved careers service Within 3 months
Child over 16 leaves an approved careers service Within 1 month
Child is registered blind (or no longer registered) As soon as possible
Child or partner dies Within 1 month
Ill or in hospital for more than 28 weeks (adults only) Within 1 month
Holiday or trip abroad (usually 8 weeks or more) Within 1 month
Leave the UK for good (or lose the right to reside here) Within 1 month
Prison sentence Within 1 month

You’re still entitled to Working Tax Credit when you stop work or go on leave - but only for a certain period of time. When this period ends, tell the Tax Credit Office if you’re not back at work.

Changes of address or bank details

Report a change of address or bank details as soon as possible. You can report a change of bank details from 30 days before the change. Wait until your address changes before your report it.

How to report changes

To report a change contact the Tax Credit Helpline.

Tax Credit Helpline

Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Textphone: 0345 300 3909
Outside the UK: +44 (0)2890 538 192
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

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