Tax credits if you have a baby

If you have a baby, you might be able to:

  • make a new tax credits claim (if you’ve not applied for tax credits before)
  • get more money (if you’re already claiming tax credits)

You can only make a new claim for tax credits if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

If you cannot make a new claim for tax credits, you may be able to apply for:

What you can get

Tax credit Approximate amount
Child Tax Credit Up to £3,325 per year
Tax credits for childcare while you work Up to £122.50 a week (1 child)
Up to £210 a week (2 or more children)

You will not get 100% of your childcare costs
Working Tax Credit Up to £1,960 per year

Even though you’ve stopped work to have a baby you’re entitled to get Working Tax Credit for:

  • the first 39 weeks of maternity (or adoption) leave
  • your period of ordinary paternity leave

To qualify, you must have been working at least 16 or 30 hours a week before your leave. The actual number of hours depends on your circumstances.

Use the tax credit calculator to work out what you can get.

How to claim

You can:

  • apply for tax credits - if you’ve not applied for tax credits before
  • update your claim - if you’ve already applied for Child or Working Tax Credit

Update your claim by reporting a change in your circumstances online or by phone.

When to claim

Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 1 month of the birth so your claim can be backdated to the date of birth. If you do not, your tax credits will only be backdated by 1 month from the date of your claim.


Your baby is born 1 September.

You tell HMRC on 1 January so your tax credits get backdated to 1 December.

If you’d told them by 1 October you’d be getting tax credits from 1 September.