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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Overview: Working Hours Requirement

To qualify for Working Tax Credit

  • Individuals without children or who do not qualify for the disability element have to work at least 30 hours per week
  • Couples without children or who do not qualify for the disability element must have one partner working at least 30 hours per week
  • Individuals that qualify for the disability element must work at least 16 hours per week
  • Individuals age 60 or over must work at least 16 hours per week

Note: From 6 April 2012 couples with children will only be eligible for WTC if one person works at least 16 hours per week and

  • They work a combined total of 24 hours per week

Or

  • The other person is:

    • classified as incapacitated or having a limited capability for work
    • an in-patient in hospital
    • in prison (whether serving a custodial sentence or remanded in custody awaiting trial or sentence)
    • receiving Carer’s Allowance or
    • entitled to Carer’s Allowance, but does not actually get any payments as they receive other benefits instead

Note: The Carer’s Allowance exception only applies from 6 April 2012. The customer may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance but not actually get any payments as they receive other benefits instead

Note: the requirement of a couple with children to work 24 hours a week could be fulfilled by one partner working 24 hours per week or by one partner working at least 16 hours and the other partner’s working hours taking the total between them to 24 hours or more. Be aware that certain exceptions still apply such as sick leave, maternity leave or being incapacitated for WTC purposes

Example 3:

Anne and David live together. They have no children, and neither has a disability. Anne is self-employed working 10 hours a week and David is employed part time working 23 hours a week.

Although they work over 30 hours in aggregate, and David works over 16 hours, because they have no children, and David does not have a disability, they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit.

Example 4:

Mary and Michael are married without children. Mary is self-employed, working 10 hours a week. Michael is employed, working 32 hours a week.

As Michael works more than 30 hours a week, and their joint income is very low, they are entitled to WTC.

Example 5:

Ahmed and Mae have one child aged 7 who is severely disabled. They both work: Ahmed 16 hours per week and Mae 17 hours per week. They pay for registered childcare while they are working.

They are entitled to:

  • Working Tax Credit - at premium rate as household works more than 30 hours a week by aggregation and they have a child; plus a % of childcare costs. They can choose who receives the credit.
  • Child tax credit - Family element.
  • Individual child element increased because child is disabled and further increased because the child is severely disabled.

The child tax credit is paid to Ahmed who they have nominated as the main carer.