This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Extra information: glossary: M

Main earner
Manual suspension

Main earner

The main earner for Working Tax Credit (WTC) in a household is the member of a couple who works the most hours in total.


  • only one member of a couple works at least 16 hours weekly, WTC will be paid to them
  • both members of a couple work at least 16 hours a week, they can choose which one of them the WTC is paid to
  • they’re unable to decide, HMRC will decide which customer to pay WTC to.

Manual suspension

A manual suspension is where

  • overpayment recovery is in place for an award year


  • an operator decides to suspend the recovery of the overpayment for business reasons - for example, to prevent further payments being made to the wrong bank account.

Recovery of the overpayment will cease until the issue is resolved. This is known as a ‘Manual Suspension’.

A manual suspension can only be recorded if there isn’t an open dispute present.