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’ll need start and end dates, names of employers and PAYE reference numbers. You’ll need the old details as well as the new details.

If your income goes up by more than £5,000 report it immediately or you may get an overpayment.

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 stop 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, 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:

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.

Other changes

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 or address
  • change childcare provider
  • start paying childcare
  • start or stop claiming benefits

You should also tell the Tax Credit Office if your:

  • child becomes disabled (eg they’re registered blind) or is no longer registered disabled
  • 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’ll 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:

  • 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