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
- 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 £5,000 or more
- you haven’t renewed your claim
- your award notice shows you’ve been overpaid
- your child is now 16 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.
|Circumstance||When to report the change|
|Start a new job||Within 1 month|
|Work hours change||Within 1 month|
|Income changes by more than £2,500||As soon as possible|
|Benefits start, stop or change||As soon as possible|
|Childcare costs change by more than £10 per week||Within 1 month|
|Relationship starts or ends - eg you live with a new partner, get a permanent separation or divorce||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 stays in or leaves approved education or training||Within 3 months|
|Child joins or leaves an approved careers service||Within 3 months|
|Child or partner dies||Within 1 month|
|Holiday or trip abroad (if 8 weeks or more)||Within 1 month|
|Leave the UK for good||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.
To report a change to your family or work life 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