Changes that affect your tax credits

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 do not report certain changes within 1 month, and up to £3,000 if you give wrong information.

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 cannot usually be backdated any further than this.

Your payments can go down or stop if:

  1. Step 1 Find out if you can get help with childcare costs

  2. and Find where you can get childcare

  3. Step 2 Get help paying for childcare

    You can get help with childcare costs for children under 18. You might be able to apply for:

    You could also get free hours childcare when your child is aged 2 to 4. You might be able to apply for:

    You can only get childcare vouchers if you have already joined a scheme.

    1. Check the rules for childcare vouchers
  4. Step 3 Check what to do if your circumstances change

    Tell government straight away if your circumstances change and you're getting:

    If you're getting 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare you have to confirm if your details are up to date every 3 months.

    1. Sign into your childcare account to find out when you next have to check your details

    Your eligibility for support with childcare costs might also change.

    1. Check if your eligibility for help with childcare costs has changed
  5. Step 4 Check what to do when your child reaches school age

    Your child starts primary school the September after they turn 4.

    1. Apply for a primary school place
    2. Find before and after school and holiday clubs

    You might be able to use help like tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare to pay for childcare like wraparound care, after school clubs or other activities.