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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Extra information: glossary: E

Effective date
Employer reference
European Economic Area

Effective date

There are two kinds of effective dates

  • effective date of a claim
  • effective date of a change of circumstances.

Effective date of a claim

This is the date from which the tax credits claim is treated as being made.

This may not necessarily be the date that the claim is received in the Department, but an earlier date depending on the circumstances of the claim.

For example: in the 31 days prior to receipt of the claim the customer started a new job (or changed their hours of work) and ceased claiming a benefit. In this case, the effective date of the WTC claim will be the date the customer first started qualifying remunerative work, or first satisfied the entitlement criteria for WTC, within the 31 day period.

Note: Claims made on or after 6 April 2012 may be backdated up to 31 days.

Note: Claims made prior to 6 April 2012 may be backdated up to 93 days.

It may also be a later date but only if the claim is received within seven days of the employment starting.

For more information, follow the guidance in TCM0064040.

Effective date of a change of circumstances

This is the date which the new circumstances are taken into account from, for the purpose of calculating award entitlement.

Note: From 6 April 2012, if a customer tells us within a month about a change of circumstances that increases the maximum rate of tax credits they are entitled to, their award can be amended from the date of the change. For changes notified after one month their award can only be amended one month prior to the date the change was notified.

Note: If a change is notified that does not alter or decreases the maximum rate of tax credits the customer is entitled to, it will be applied from the date of the change.

For more information, follow the guidance in TCM0042240.

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Tax credits awards are made up of entitlements, which in turn are made up of elements. An element is an amount of tax credits entitlement due in specific circumstances.

The following is a list of all the elements that may be included in an award. The description of an element may be abbreviated when it is shown on the tax credits computer. Where this applies, the abbreviated version is also shown on the right.

WTC Basic  
WTC Second adult  
WTC Lone parent  
WTC 30 hour  
WTC 50 plus  
WTC 50 plus (30 hour)  
WTC Disability  
WTC Severe Disability WTC Sev. Disability
WTC Childcare, 1 child WTC C/care, 1 child
WTC Childcare, more than 1 child WTC C/care, >1 child
CTC Child  
CTC Young person  
CTC Disability  
CTC Severe Disability CTC Sev. Disability
CTC Family  

Note: The 50+ element will be withdrawn on 6 April 2012. Award notices issued from 11 October 2011 will show a revised award for 2011-2012 but won’t explain that the 50+ element will stop in April 2012.

Note: From 6 April 2017, customers will only get the Family Element of Child Tax Credit where they are responsible for a child or children born before that date.

Note: The individual child element of Child Tax Credit will no longer be awarded for third and subsequent children or qualifying young persons in a household, born on or after 6 April 2017, unless it meets the exception criteria.


Note: If the change relates to a child/young person who is an exception or potential exception contact the Exception Team (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) For how to check if the exception marker has been applied, use TCM1000314.

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Employer reference

This is the reference used to identify an employer. From June 2000, all new employer references are computer-generated.

Employer references will always consist of the three-digit office number and

  • a manually-allocated reference that must have between one and ten characters
    • the first character of which must be in the range A to Z or 0 to 9
    • the second to tenth characters must only be A to Z, 0 to 9, -, \, / or space
  • computer-allocated reference that is seven characters in the format Aznnnnn, where
    • ‘A’ is an alphabetic sequential character (not the initial letter of the employer’s name)
    • ‘Z’ is a fixed character using the least used in alpha references
    • ‘nnnnn’ are five numbers.

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European Economic Area

European Economic Area (EEA) member states are as follows

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom.

Nationals of Switzerland are also covered by EC regulations.

From 1 January 2007, the following countries became EEA member states

  • Bulgaria
  • Romania.
    Note: Customers from Bulgaria and Romania are known as A2 nationals.

From 1 July 2013, Croatia became an EEA member state.

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An executor is someone who has been appointed by a Will to

  • administer the testator’s property
  • carry out the provisions of that Will.