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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Calculation of entitlement: Definitions - Entitlement, Element, Award period and Relevant period

Entitlement An entitlement is what the claimant is due for the year, which may turn out to be more or less than the amount awarded at the beginning of the year and paid during it.
Element An element is an amount of tax credits entitlement due in specific circumstances. For example, CTC may be made up of multiple elements such as the child element, the young person element and the child/young person disability elements, depending on the claimant’s circumstances.
Award period An award period is the period for which a tax credits award is made. For initial awards this will be from the effective date of the tax credits claim until the end of the tax year.For example, for claims made on 03/05/15 the award period runs from 03/05/15 to 05/04/16.
Relevant period The relevant period is a period within an award period requiring a separate award calculation either because: * there is a change in tax credits eligibility during the award period For example, an award starts from 03/05/15 and a child turns 16 on 28/05/15 and leaves school that summer. The award period runs from 03/05/15 to 05/04/16. The first relevant period runs from 03/05/15 to 31/08/16, when eligibility to a child element ends. The second relevant period runs from 01/09/15 to 05/04/16 OR * income only needs to be taken into account for part of the award period. For example where a person ceases to be employed part way through the award period.