Child Tax Credits usually stop on 31 August after your child turns 16 but can continue for children under 20 in approved education or training or registered with a careers service.

What you need to do

You must tell the Tax Credit Office if your child:

  • turns 16 and stays in approved education or training
  • starts or leaves approved education or training
  • joins or leaves a careers service

You must also tell the Tax Credit Office if your child:

  • turns 18 and stays in approved education or training
  • turns 19 and stays in approved education or training

Tell the Tax Credit Office as soon as possible to make sure you get paid the right amount of tax credits.

Approved education

Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:

  • A levels or similar, eg Pre-U, or the International Baccalaureate
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQ up to level 3

Courses are not approved if they’re:

  • provided by the child’s employer or as as part of a role they hold - eg part of their role as a scout leader
  • an advanced course - eg a BTEC Higher National Certificate or Diploma, a higher education course like a university degree

Your child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19.

Approved training

Approved training should be unpaid and can include:

  • traineeships
  • some apprenticeships
  • Training for Success: Professional and Technical Training
  • Pathways for Success: Pathways for Young People
  • Get Ready for Work - if started before 1 April 2013
  • Skillbuild+ or Skillbuild - if started before 1 August 2011
  • Employability Fund programmes - Scotland only
  • Collaboration and Innovation Programme - Northern Ireland only

Courses that are part of a job contract are not approved.

Your child must be accepted for the training before they turn 19.

Career services

You can get tax credits for 20 weeks if your child leaves education or 
training before they’re 18 and:

  • registers with their local careers service, Connexions or local authority support service (or the Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland or similar careers organisation in the European Economic Area, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein)
  • joins the Armed Forces

Your child must be 16 or 17, work less than 24 hours a week and not get certain benefits (eg Income Support).

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