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CBTM03120 - Payments: High Income Child Benefit Charge election

Election not to receive Child Benefit

SS A Act, section 13A, SS A Act (NI), section 11A

From 7 January 2013, a Child Benefit claimant may elect not to get further Child Benefit payments if that claimant expects that they or another person would be liable to a High Income Child Benefit Charge.

If the claimant makes an election not to get Child Benefit payments, they or their partner (if the higher earner) may need to pay High Income Child Benefit Charge for Child Benefit already received up to the date the election takes effect.

When an election takes effect

SS A Act, section 13A(3) and (9), SS A Act (NI), section 11A(3) and (9)

A person’s election will take effect once it is treated as made that is, both after His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs receive it and:

  • on the Monday after a person’s most recent Child Benefit payment; or
  • where a person’s Child Benefit payment has already been issued, the Monday after the week(s) this payment relates to; or

on the day a person requests if later than either Monday


A person is paid Child Benefit 4-weekly, 3 weeks in arrears and one week in advance. Where a payment is due for the period 6 May 2013 - 2 June 2013, the date a person’s election takes effect depends on when His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs receive that election. If the election is received on:

  • 14 May 2013, the election will take effect from 6 May 2013
  • 28 May 2013, the person will already have received their Child Benefit payment for the period up to 2 June 2013 and so their election will take effect from 3 June 2013
  • 24 May 2013, although the payment for the period up to 2 June 2013 will not have been paid into the person’s account, it will have already been issued and so the election will take effect from 3 June 2013

Backdating an election

SS A Act, section 13A(4), SS A Act (NI), section 11A(4)

Where a new claim is received and entitlement to Child Benefit is backdated, the election may have effect in relation to payments for weeks beginning in the period of three months ending immediately before the claim for the benefit was made.

Note: An election is only backdated up to three months where a new claim is received and a Child Benefit award is not already in payment to the same person for different children.


A Child Benefit claim for a child born on 3 April 2013 is received on 21 May 2013. The person does not receive Child Benefit for any other children and elects not to receive their payments as they would be liable to the High Income Child Benefit charge. The Child Benefit claim is awarded from 8 April 2013. Because the person does not receive Child Benefit for any other children, the election takes effect from 8 April 2013 and so no Child Benefit payments will be paid for that award.

At Spring Budget 2024 it was announced that, the High Income Child Benefit Charge threshold will increase to £60,000 from 6 April 2024. 

Child Benefit entitlement backdated into the 2023 to 2024 tax year as a result of a Child Benefit claim made on or after 6 April 2024 and before 8 July will be subject to the High Income Child Benefit Charge in the 2024 to 2025 tax year, where the claimant or their partners adjusted net income exceeds the new threshold of £60,000. 


If you make a new claim on 6 May 2024, your Child Benefit payment will be backdated to 6 February 2024, but you will only pay the charge in the 2024 to 2025 tax year if your income exceeds £60,000.

Note: If you have already claimed Child Benefit but don’t get payments. You can choose when to start your payments but if you start them before 6 April you may have to pay the charge for 2023 to 2024.

Overpayment being recovered from an award

SS A Act, section 13A(9), SS A Act (NI), section 11A(9)

An election does not have effect if, when we receive it:

  • an amount of overpaid Child Benefit is being recovered from the Child Benefit payable to the person
  • undue benefit paid by another country is being deducted from the person’s Child Benefit payments

A person must make a new election when the overpayment has been recovered.