Tax credits and benefits
Introduction to tax credits and benefits
There are two tax credits – child tax credit and working tax credit. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) administer and pay tax credits.
Universal credit (UC) is the Government’s new system of support that is gradually replacing 6 working-age benefits (the ‘legacy benefits’). These are working tax credit; child tax credit; income support; income-based jobseekers’ allowance, income-related employment and support allowance and housing benefit. Now that UC is available across the UK, most people can no longer make a brand new claim for tax credits.
If you are already claiming tax credits, you will not be affected by the introduction of UC unless you:
- Choose to claim UC
- Have a change of circumstances which means your current tax credit claim has to end but you want to continue to claim support (for example, your single claim ends and you want to make a new a joint claim and vice versa) and you cannot make a new claim for tax credits
- need to make a new claim for one of the legacy benefits that UC is replacing (for example you need to claim help with your rent through housing benefit)
Otherwise, you will not be affected by UC until you are moved across under a formal exercise (managed migration), which is expected to take place between November 2020 and December 2023 following a pilot between July 2019 and July 2020.
We have included links to our main LITRG website where we provide information about tax credits and benefits aimed at helping you navigate the often complicated system of support available, with additional links to more detailed guidance.
- What are tax credits?
- Who can claim tax credits?
- What is working tax credit?
- Disability and tax credits?
- What is child tax credit?
- How do I calculate tax credits?
- How do I claim tax credits?
- Can I backdate my claim to tax credits?
- What counts as income for tax credits?
- What income will be used to calculate my claim?
- How are tax credits paid?
- How do I renew my tax credits claim?
- What changes do I need to report?
- How do I appeal a tax credits decision?
- What can I do if I have an underpayment?
- What can I do if I have an overpayment?
- What if my claim is checked by HMRC?
- How do I complain about tax credits?
- How do I contact HMRC about tax credits?
- How will universal credit affect tax credits?
- Universal credit and stopping tax credits
This section of the website contains two pages which are of particular interest to students:
- Tax credits and students – this covers when you may be able to claim tax credits while studying, working part-time or on an apprenticeship.
- Can I claim for my child aged 16 or over? – this page provides information on when you can claim child tax credit after your child leaves school.
Our main LITRG website also has detailed information on:
- Universal credit
- State benefits
- Child benefit (this section also covers the tax charge for those on higher incomes)
- Help towards the costs of childcare
The detail around how tax credits work can get complex. More information about all aspects of tax credits and child benefit, including dealing with HMRC about tax credits and child benefit is available on our specialist website for advisers: Revenuebenefits.