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Getting your Tax Credits Entitlement

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Getting Your Tax Credits Entitlement

Everyone wants to get the most from their money, and these days we could all use a helping hand when it comes to budgeting for ourselves and our families. That's why it can be a good idea to look into whether or not you qualify for tax credits from the government.

HM Revenue & Customs, formerly Inland Revenue, estimate that nine out of ten families with children qualify for family tax credits. They are government payments and if you're responsible for at least one child, there is good chance you qualify for Child Tax Credit, or CTC. Additionally, you may qualify if you work but earn a low income for the Working Tax Credit entitlement.

Families who have a combined income of £58,000 annually or less usually qualify for child tax credits, so you can earn a decent living and still qualify. You can claim them in addition to Child Benefit, which is not based on income. If you have a disabled child or children, you may be eligible to get even more money.

Child Tax Credit

Child tax credits were designed to help lift people out of poverty, but you can get them even if you earn a £58,000 a year – or more if you have a child under aged one. Couples have to make joint claims but single parents can also claim.

You will qualify for child tax credit if you fit the means-tested profile and if you have or look after any child under age 16. Additionally, once they are a bit older you may qualify for credit if they are in full-time training or education.

CTC comes in two forms: a family element and a child element. You may get additional money if you have a new baby, a disabled child or a severely disabled child. You will also get more money for each child you have.

Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit, or WTC, aims to help people who earn the least money. This entitlement is also means-tested, and is paid to people who work 16 hours a week or more, either self-employed of employed by someone else. You must work in the UK and the amount you get will depend on your income.

You may qualify for tax credits to help with childcare costs as part of the WTC.

If you have disabilities, have been out of work, or are over 50 and returning to work, you may also qualify.

Please note that Inland Revenue merged with HM Customs and Excise to form HM Revenue & Customs, which now is responsible for looking after all tax credits.

How is the Money Paid?

If both you and your partner are working, it is up to you to decide who will get the working tax credit payments, which will be put straight into your bank account or building society. For child tax credit payments, it is important to decide who is the primary carer for the child, and then he or she will receive the payments.

Tax credits exist to help families, but a large number of people do not even know that they are eligible to receive them. If you think you are, contact HM Revenue & Customs for advice on how to start making a claim.

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