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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Claims and Notification: Backdating WTC

The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) regulations 2002, Reg 7

Requesting backdating to a specific date within 31 days of receipt of a claim

When a person claims Working Tax Credit within 31 days of starting work, their claim can be backdated to the date they started, providing they notify HMRC of the date they started work or it can be backdated for the whole 31 days if earlier. This is providing that on that date they would have qualified for tax credits had they made a claim for it.

Automatic backdating of WTC occurs if the claimant prior to starting work/self-employment has been in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related); or
  • State Pension Credit (State Pension Credit replaced the Minimum Income Guarantee on 26 November 2003)

And,

Entitlement ceased in the 31 days before the date the claim was received in an appropriate office because:

  • the claimant started a new job,
  • started self-employment, or
  • increased their hours to 16 or more a week

Therefore WTC will be backdated to the date entitlement to benefit ceased, up to a maximum of 31 days, before the date of receipt of the tax credits claim.

Backdating claims for WTC including the disability element

The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002, Reg 8

A claim for WTC can be backdated for longer than 31 days when:

  • a claimant or claimants make a claim for WTC including the disability element that results in an award of WTC including the disability element; and
  • the claim for WTC is made within 31 days of the date that a decision on entitlement to one of the qualifying benefits referred to in regulation 9(2) to 9(8) of the WTC (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations is made in favour of the claimant or claimants; and
  • the claimant or claimants would have been entitled to WTC if (and only if) they had met the requirements of reg 9(1)(c) of the WTC (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations (TCTM02510) on any day between the date of the claim for the qualifying benefit and the date of the tax credits claim.

The claim can be backdated to:

  • the first date from which the benefit claimed is payable; (See Example 1) or
  • if later, the date falling 31 days before the claim for the qualifying benefit was made; (See Example 2) or
  • if later, the first date between the date of the claim for the qualifying benefit and the date of the tax credits claim that the claimant or claimants would have been entitled to WTC if they met the requirements of reg 9(1)(c) of the WTC (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations (See Example 3)

Example 1

A person with no children works 16 hours a week. They develop a disability, and make a claim for DLA on 13 October 2011. Entitlement to DLA was decided on 4 June 2012 and was payable from 13 October 2011. The claimant makes a claim for WTC including the disability element on 2 July 2012, which is within 31 days of the decision on DLA entitlement being made. The claim for WTC, including the disability element can be backdated to 13 October 2011, i.e. the first date from which the qualifying benefit is payable.

Example 2

One member of a couple with no children works 16 hours a week. They suffer an injury at work and make a claim for a Constant Attendance Allowance in conjunction with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit on 13 October 2007. Entitlement to the Constant Attendance Allowance in conjunction with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is decided on 4 July 2012 and the decision was that the benefit was payable from 19 October 2005. The claimant makes a claim for WTC, including the disability element on 1 August 2012, which is within 31 days of this decision on entitlement to the qualifying benefit being made. The claim for WTC including the disability element can be backdated to 13 September 2007, i.e. the date falling 31 days before the claim for the qualifying benefit was made.

Example 3

A person doesn’t work. They develop a disability and make a claim for DLA on 13 October 2007. They start working 16 hours a week on 24 February 2008. Entitlement to DLA was decided on 4 June 2012 and was payable from 13 October 2007. The claimant makes a claim for WTC including the disability element on 2 July 2012, which is within 31 days of the decision on DLA entitlement being made. The claim for WTC, including the disability element can be backdated to 24 February 2008, i.e. the first date between the date of the claim for the qualifying benefit and the date of the tax credits claim that the claimant or claimants would have been entitled to WTC if they met the requirements of reg 9(1)(c) of the WTC (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations.

Example 4

A person submits a claim for PIP on the 05 July 2013. They work the required number of hours, but do not submit a WTC claim as until such time that PIP is awarded they would not qualify for WTC. On the 30 August 2013 the person ceases to be employed. On the 29 Oct 2013 the person is awarded PIP which is payable from the 5 July 2013 and on this basis the person submits a claim for WTC on the 22 Nov 2013, which is within 31 days of the decision on PIP entitlement being made. The claim for WTC, including the disability element can be backdated to 05 July 2013 and providing entitlement continues to exist, paid up to the point their employment ceased on the 30 August 2013. The person would also be entitled to the 4 week run on following the end of their employment.

Transitional provision

Tax Credits Act 2002 Transitional Provision Orders 2003, 2005, 2008 & 2011 (as amended)

A person shall not be entitled to tax credits in respect of any day prior to the day on which he makes a claim for it (“the earlier day”) if—

  • the earlier day falls before 31 December 2014, and
  • on the earlier day the claimant is entitled, or in the case of a joint claim, either of the claimants is entitled, to the child premia in respect of Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

“the child premia in respect of Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance” means the amounts referred to in section 1(3)(d) of the Tax Credits Act 2002.

This is in relation to existing recipients of the child premia to avoid duplication of payments.

Social Security (Tax Credits) Amendment Regulations 2005

From 8 September 2005 new or existing Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants without children cannot claim financial support for their child through the child premia in respect of Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, following the birth of their first child. Financial support for their child should be claimed through CTC.

Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008

Existing claimants, already getting the child premium in respect of Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, may continue to do so and claim for any children born after the 8 September 2005 until the:

25 October 2009 where the single or youngest child is aged under 12

25 October 2010 where the single or youngest child is aged under 10

31 December 2011 where the single or youngest child is aged under 7

We anticipate all claimants currently receiving financial support for their family through Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants will be migrated to CTC by 31 December 2011.

The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2013

Where a claim for tax credits is made within one month of a person being notified that they are not entitled to Universal Credit by virtue of regulation 13(2)(a) or 13(3)(b) of the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2013 the tax credits claim is to be treated as having been received on the date the universal credit claim was made.

Forward dating of that claim is not allowed.

Backdating for Refugees

The Tax Credits (Immigration) Regulations 2003

Where a person is not entitled to tax credits because they claimed asylum as a refugee and are therefore subject to immigration control, if they subsequently claim tax credits within 1 month of being notified they have been recorded as a refugee, their tax credits claim is treated has having been made on the date they first submitted their claim for asylum, including any intervening years. However, any payments they received under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 will be deducted from their tax credits award.

Backdating for same sex couples

The Civil Partnership Act 2004

Claims from same sex couples cannot be backdated to any date prior to 5 December 2005 as this is the date the above act came into force.