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
- you or your partner start claiming Universal Credit
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.
|Circumstance||When to report the change|
|Baby born or you take responsibility for another child||Within 1 month|
|Benefits (yours or your child’s) start, stop or change||When the change has happened|
|Child is certified blind (or no longer certified)||When the change has happened|
|Child leaves home - eg moves out, taken into care||Within 1 month|
|Child or partner dies||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 over 16 stays in or leaves approved education or training||Within 1 month|
|Childcare costs start, stop, change by £10 or more per week or you start or stop getting help with them||Within 1 month|
|Childcare provider changes but is still registered||When the change has happened|
|Childcare provider is no longer registered or approved||Within 1 month|
|Holiday or trip abroad (usually 8 weeks or more)||Within 1 month|
|Ill or in hospital for more than 28 weeks (adults only)||Within 1 month|
|Income changes||When the change has happened|
|Job changes||When the change has happened|
|Job starts or stops||Within 1 month|
|Leave the UK for good (or lose the right to reside here)||Within 1 month|
|Prison sentence||Within 1 month|
|Relationship starts or ends - eg you live with a new partner, get a permanent separation or divorce||Within 1 month|
|Work hours fall below 30 or more a week (combined hours if you’re in a couple with children)||Within 1 month|
|Work hours fall below or increase above the minimum required to qualify||Within 1 month|
|Work hours increase to 30 or more a week||When the change has happened|
|You don’t return to work after a gap or leave||Within 1 month|
|You or a member of your family become or stop being disabled||When the change has happened|
|You’re claiming childcare costs and you or your partner start working for 16 hours or less except in certain situations||Within 1 month|
You’ll have to make a new claim for tax credits if:
- you start or end a relationship
- your partner dies
If you stop work or go on leave
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.
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.
This could be up to £300 if you report a change late or up to £3,000 if you give wrong information carelessly or on purpose.
If your income goes up by more than £5,000 report it immediately or you may get an overpayment.
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 you report it.
How to report changes
To report a change call the Tax Credit Helpline.