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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Entitlement: Tax credits and European Law: Priority rules in the event of overlapping entitlement to family benefits, suspension and differential supplements - Article 68(2) of Regulation (EC) 883/2004

Article 68(2) of Regulation (EC) 883/2004 and Article 60(2) of Regulation (EC) 987/2009

Suspension and supplements

Where entitlement to family benefits arises during the same period and for the same family member in more than one Member State (MS):

  • the MS that is competent to pay family benefits (in accordance with the priority rules - see TCTM02845) is primarily responsible for paying family benefits, and so pays its full rate;
  • where the rate of family benefits due in the other Member State is higher than the amount due from the competent MS, the claimant is entitled to receive the difference in the form of a supplement.
  • Where it appears that a supplement may be due from the other MS, a copy of the claim and the decision to award family benefits should be forwarded by the competent MS to the other MS without delay for a differential supplement to be considered;
  • If a differential supplement is due, entitlement to family benefits in the other MS is suspended up to the amount paid by the competent MS and the difference paid to the claimant.


Shane and Anne live in the UK with their two children. Anne works in the UK and Shane is a cross border worker who crosses the border each day to work in the Republic of Ireland (ROI).

The couple are entitled to family benefits from the UK but as Shane is employed in ROI he is also entitled to family benefits from ROI by virtue of his employment there.

In this instance family benefits are payable by more than one Member State on the same basis (employment), so we must look to where the children reside to determine competency. As the children reside in the UK, the UK is primarily responsible for paying family benefits.

A copy of the claim/decision to award UK family benefits should be sent to ROI for them to consider whether a differential supplement is due.

If the rate at which ROI would pay is greater than the rate at which the UK would pay, Ireland would suspend (withhold) payment of their family benefit up to level of UK family benefit and only pay the difference.