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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Eligibility - remunerative work (general): Employed earners (Info)

Employed earners must normally be employed and paid, or due to be paid, for

  • at least 16 hours weekly, if they are single and responsible for a child or young person

or

  • at least a total of 24 hours weekly, if they are a couple, responsible for a child or young person with one person working at least 16 hours a week. If only one person works, that person must be working at least 24 hours a week

Note: On 6 April 2012, the Tax Credit eligibility rules changed. From this date couples with children are required to work at least 24 hours weekly. Hours worked by the customers can be added together, but one of the customers must be working at least 16 hours weekly to qualify for Working Tax Credit.

or

  • at least 16 hours weekly, if they are a couple, responsible for a child or young person and the other person cannot work because they are incapacitated, in hospital, in prison or entitled to Carer’s Allowance. This means they either

    • get paid Carer’s Allowance or
    • qualify for Carer’s Allowance, but do not actually get any payments as they receive other benefits instead

or

  • at least 16 hours a week, if they are a couple, responsible for a child or young person and the person that works qualifies for the disability element of Working Tax Credit

or

  • at least 16 hours a week, if they are a couple, responsible for a child or young person and the person that works is aged 60 or over

or

  • at least 16 hours a week if they qualify for the disability element of Working Tax Credit

or

  • 30 hours or more weekly, if they are aged 25 years to 59 years and are not responsible for a child or young person and do not have a disability

or

  • 16 hours or more weekly if they are aged 60 or over and are not responsible for a child or young person and do not have a disability from 6 April 2011.

Although the hours a person is employed must come within the terms of their contract of employment, the number of hours worked may differ from those originally laid down.

The customer should decide the number of hours worked based on their usual typical hours. In many jobs, starting and finishing times will be easily identified. However, in others it may be impossible to stop work at a specific time. In these cases, the customer should tell you of the actual hours worked. You should accept that it is necessary to work extra hours other than those laid down by the contract with the employer.

In calculating the number of hours that a person normally undertakes in their remunerative work, include time allowed for

  • meal or refreshment breaks
  • visits to a hospital, clinic or other establishment for the purpose of treating or monitoring the person’s disability.

Note: The person must be being paid for this time or expects to be paid for this time or, the time is necessary in order to complete their work.

Example 1: A customer’s original contract of employment requires them to work 12 hours weekly. They actually work an average of 17 hours weekly, for which they are paid by the employer. The work is remunerative work because the employer paid for the extra five hours.

Example 2: A customer’s original contract of employment requires them to work 18 hours weekly. They actually work and are paid for 15 hours weekly. These are now their normal weekly hours. The work is not remunerative work because the employer pays them for 15 hours weekly. The original contract of employment is not relevant.

Example 3: A customer’s contract of employment states that they work 13.5 hours weekly and is paid for three lunch breaks of an hour each. The work is remunerative work because the person is paid for 16.5 hours weekly under their contract of employment.

Evidence of hours worked

A statement provided by the customer or the employer stating that a person works for 16, 24 or 30 hours or more weekly (whichever is appropriate) should be accepted.