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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Overview: Objectives of Tax Credits

A key objective of the system is to target support to families on the basis of need. Tax credits provide a way for the tax system to recognise a family’s or couple’s circumstances in the tax year. They address the specific needs of the family, by including additional payments to take into account the number of people in it and any special needs they have, for example, there are extra payments for a child with a disability.

The amounts of the payments also relate to the income available to meet those needs: that means that the incomes of both members of a couple are taken into account. Depending on which tax credit is in payment, it will be paid either direct to one member of the couple.