Your tax credits could go up, down or stop if there are changes in your family or work life. You must tell the Tax Credit Office about these.
Before you call
Make sure you have as much information as possible about the change, eg if you’ve changed jobs you need start and end dates, names of employers and PAYE reference numbers. You need the old details as well as the new details.
Tell the Tax Credit Office immediately if your income goes up by more than £5,000. You might have to repay tax credits if you don’t.
Changes you must report
You must tell the Tax Credit Office within 30 days if your:
- child or partner dies
- child leaves home, eg moves out or goes into care
- child over 16 leaves an approved careers service
- child over 16 stays in or leaves approved education or training
- childcare costs stop, change by £10 or more a week, or you start getting help with them
- childcare provider is no longer registered or approved
- job starts or stops
- living circumstances change, eg you start or stop a relationship, move in with a new partner, get married, permanently separate or divorce
- working hours fall below 30 hours a week (combined if you’re in a couple with children)
- working hours fall below or go above the minimum required to qualify
You must also tell the Tax Credit Office within 30 days if you:
- go abroad for 8 weeks or more
- are ill or in hospital for more than 28 weeks (as an adult)
- leave the UK permanently or lose the right to reside in the UK
- are given a prison sentence
- don’t return to work after a gap or leave
- start working for less than 16 hours while claiming childcare costs - except in certain situations
You could be fined up to £300 if you don’t report a change within 30 days and up to £3,000 if you give wrong information on purpose.
There’s no deadline to report the following changes, but your tax credits could be affected if you don’t tell the Tax Credit Office when you:
- have a baby or take responsibility for another child
- change bank details - you can report this up to 30 days before it happens
- change address - wait until you’ve moved before telling the Tax Credit Office
- change childcare provider
- start paying childcare
- stop getting help with childcare costs
- start or stop claiming benefits, or your benefits change
- or a member of your family becomes or stops being disabled
You should also tell the Tax Credit Office if your:
- child is certified blind (or no longer certified)
- child over 16 joins an approved careers service - do this within 3 months
- income or job changes
- working hours increase to 30 hours or more a week (combined if you’re in a couple with children)
You’ll have to make a new claim for tax credits if you start or end a relationship or your partner dies.
If you’re overpaid
If you receive tax credits you’re not entitled to (you’re ‘overpaid’), you need to repay the money. You may also have to pay a penalty.
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: