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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
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Eligibility - entitlement: Child or young person - responsibility (Info)

Normally lives with

For a customer or customers to be treated as being responsible for a child or young person that child or young person must ‘normally live’ with the customer(s).

‘Normally lives with you’ is not defined in the regulations therefore, it should be given its ordinary every day meaning of regularly, usually, typically lives with them which allows for temporary or occasional absences.

Note: student children from abroad can be placed with a ‘host family’ whilst they attend school in the UK. The host family usually receive some payment for providing a home to the student. In these cases the child or young person is not usually treated as ‘normally living with’ the customer. In reality the customer is providing a service in these situations.

Main responsibility

If two or more people make separate claims (that is, not a single joint claim made by a couple) for CTC in respect of a child or young person, only one customer can be treated as responsible for that child or young person for tax credits purposes.

Main responsibility for a child or young person should be given its normal everyday meaning - that is, someone who the child or young person is normally living with and who is the main person who takes responsibility for the child or young person.

Facts that you should consider when deciding who has main responsibility include

  • where the child keeps the majority of their belongings such as clothes, toys
  • who is responsible for the day to day spending for the child such as buying clothes, food and providing pocket money
  • who is main contact for school, nursery or childcare
  • who is responsible for the health care and hygiene of the child, such as making appointments with the doctor or dentist, doing the child’s laundry
  • what is the registered address for contact for the school, nursery, childcare or health care
  • who has legal custody for the child.

Note: This list isn’t exhaustive.

Shared responsibility

Where there are competing claims and a child or young person normally lives with two or more persons, the child or young person should be included as part of the family who has main responsibility for them.

Those making the competing claims may jointly agree on which of them has main responsibility for the child or young person.

Facts that can be considered as an indication whether a customer has main responsibility for a child or young person when the customers are trying to decide who has main responsibility include:

  • who the child or young person normally lives with and where they keep the majority of their belongings for example clothes, toys
  • who is responsible for the day to day spending for the child or young person such as buying clothes, food and providing pocket money
  • who is the main contact for the school, college, nursery or childcare
  • who is responsible for the health care and hygiene of the child or young person, such as making appointments with the doctor or dentist
  • who is responsible for doing the child or young person’s laundry
  • what is the registered address for contact for the school, college, nursery, childcare or health care
  • who has legal custody for the child or young person.

Note: This list isn’t exhaustive.

Disputed responsibility

Where two or more people are unable to agree who has main responsibility for a child or young person, the Board may determine who has the main responsibility based on the information available to them at the time of the decision.

When deciding main responsibility for a child or young person, the fact that someone receives Child Benefit for that child or young person must not be considered.

Customer in prison

Single customers who are in prison either on remand or serving a custodial sentence and who are responsible for a child or young person under 20 may still satisfy the eligibility criteria for Child Tax Credit (CTC) as long as the child can still be treated as ‘normally live with’ them.

On remand

A young person under 18 in England and Wales are treated as being ‘looked after’ if they are remanded in local authority accommodation. The local authority is therefore responsible for accommodating and providing the cost of the accommodation. Once the period on remand has ceased, normal responsibility conditions will apply.

Child is not ‘in care’ of the local authority

A customer who is fostering/providing kinship care either informally or in receipt of a Residence Order or Special Guardianship order for the child or young person can usually be treated as ‘normally living with’ the child or young person.