Latest HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) figures show that over 365,000 people have opted out of Child Benefit since the High Income Child Benefit Charge was introduced on 7 January. Those who have already stopped their Child Benefit payments do not need to act.
People who continued to receive Child Benefit after January need to register for Self Assessment by 5 October 2013 to repay the benefit received between January and April 2013, but opting out now means they will not need to fill in a tax return in future years.
Lin Homer, Chief Executive at HMRC, said:
Anyone wanting to opt out of Child Benefit payments can do so at any time. It is really easy – just go to our website. Anyone with an income over £60,000 who has received Child Benefit since January needs to register for Self Assessment by 5 October to repay some or all of this year’s benefit, but if they opt out now this will be a one-off.
For people with income of more than £60,000, the tax charge is 100% of the amount of Child Benefit. For income between £50,000 and £60,000, the charge is gradually increased to 100% of the Child Benefit.
The decision to stay in or opt out of receiving Child Benefit payments is not final, and families are free to change their minds. Anyone earning over £50,000 who has received Child Benefit since 7 January 2013 will need to register for Self Assessment and complete a tax return for that period, regardless of whether they are now opting out.