Changes that affect your tax credits

1. Overview

Your tax credits could go up, down or stop if there are changes in your family or work life.

You must report any changes to your circumstances to the Tax Credit Office.

Do this as soon as possible to make sure you get the right amount of tax credits. You’ll have to pay back the money if you’re overpaid.

You could be fined up to £300 if you don’t report certain changes within 1 month and up to £3,000 if you give wrong information carelessly or on purpose.

You can report any changes either:

When you contact the Tax Credit Office

Make sure you have as much information as possible about the change in circumstances. For example, if you’ve changed jobs you’ll need your employment dates and PAYE reference number for both jobs.

Why your tax credits change

Your payments can go up if:

  • your income goes down by more than £2,500
  • your benefits stop or go down
  • you start getting personal independence payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or other disability benefits for yourself or a child
  • you have a child
  • your childcare costs go up

You should report these changes within 1 month to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to. Payments can’t usually be backdated any further than this.

Your payments can go down or stop if: