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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Changes of circumstances: Effective Dates of Changes in Circumstances

Date of notification - Where the change results in an increase in tax credits

The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, Reg 25

Changes of circumstances resulting in an increase in tax credits, such as a new child in the family, or the family starts to use registered or approved childcare, can be backdated to a maximum of 1 month.

The date of the change is either

  • the date 1 month before the date of notification, or if later
  • the date of the change.

Date of notification - Where the change results in a decrease of tax credits

The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, Reg 21

Changes in circumstances which result in a decrease in tax credits are usually backdated to the date of the change.

For example

  • a child or young person leaves the family
  • changes in the adults heading a household, for example if a couple breaks up or when people begin living together as a couple.

However in certain circumstances the claimant may continue to be entitled to a ‘run on period’ of tax credits, for example if the claimants job ends or they cease to undertake work for at least 16, 24 or 30 hours per week, or if childcare costs have reduced by more than £10.00 per week.

Disability and Severe Disability elements of WTC & CTC - Backdating

The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, Reg 26 & 26A

There are cases where changes in circumstances can be backdated more than 1 month. These are changes which result in an award of the disability or severe disability elements of CTC and WTC.

For the legislation on backdating the disability and severe disability elements of WTC, please see TCTM05310 

For the legislation on backdating the disability and severe disability elements of CTC, please see TCTM05320