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.

Overpayments

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.