How to claim tax credits

What counts as income

Usually, what you’re entitled to is based on your income for the last tax year (6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018).

Income includes:

  • pay - your earnings before tax and National Insurance (check your P60 or payslips if you’re employed, or your Self Assessment tax return if you’re self-employed)
  • benefits from your employer (check your P11D)
  • certain state benefits
  • money from a pension - including your State Pension
  • interest on savings
  • your partner’s income - if you make a joint claim
  • UK company dividends
  • profit from a property you own or rent out in the UK
  • earnings from the Rent a Room Scheme above £7,500 (or £3,750 if you’re a joint owner)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has detailed guidance if you need help working out your income.


Income includes money from UK state benefits (or their foreign equivalents) except income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or ‘tax-free’ benefits. Tax-free benefits include:

  • Child Benefit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • the foreign equivalents of UK tax-free benefits

To support your claim, keep records of your income, bills, payslips, benefits, tax credits, childcare and child’s education for the current tax year and at least 2 years before that.