1. How to claim

If you’re new to tax credits call the Tax Credit Helpline for a claim form.

It takes up to 2 weeks for the form to arrive.

You don’t need a claim form if you’re already claiming tax credits - just call the helpline to update your claim.

You can apply for tax credits as a single person or as a couple (known as a ‘joint claim’).

When you call

Before you’re sent the form, you’ll be asked for certain information and given an estimate of how much you’ll get. You may be asked for:

  • your National Insurance number (if you have one)
  • your income for the last tax year
  • details of any benefits you get
  • details of any childcare payments
  • the number of hours you work per week

Where to send the form

The address is on the form. If you claim benefits you can give it to your Jobcentre Plus, or Social Security Office if you live in Northern Ireland.


You may be charged a penalty of up to £3,000 if you give wrong information:

  • fraudulently (on purpose)
  • negligently (you didn’t take enough care)

You won’t get a penalty if you made a mistake but took reasonable care when making a claim.

Get help with your application

You’re sent guidance notes with your claim form. You can also get help from the Tax Credit Helpline, your benefits office or an organisation like Citizens Advice.

Someone else can claim tax credits for you. They can apply for authorisation to speak to the Tax Credit Office on your behalf or become an ‘appointee’ to manage your payments.