Tax credits are payments from the government. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit.
How much do you get?
The amount of tax credits you get depends on things like:
- how many children you have living with you
- whether you work - and how many hours you work
- if you pay for childcare
- if you or any child living with you has a disability
- if you're aged 50 plus and are coming off benefits
- Your payments also depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credit you can get.
How tax credits work
If you're married or living with a partner you'll need to make a joint claim for tax credits. You can only make a single claim if you don’t have a partner.
The Tax Credit Office pay tax credits directly into your bank, building society, Post Office® or National Savings account if it accepts Direct Payment - either weekly or every four weeks.
Who gets the payments?
If you're both working and you both qualify for Working Tax Credit, you can decide who'll get the payments.
If you’re claiming Child Tax Credit and you’re in a couple you need to decide which one of you is the children’s main carer. If you’re the main carer then the money will be paid to you.
How tax credits payments work
The tax credits payments you receive are based on your current personal circumstances and your income from the tax year that ended on the 5 April 2009.
If you’re making a new claim for tax credits your payments will usually run from the date of your claim to the end of the tax year. For example, if you make a claim on 10 November 2009, your payments will be worked out from that date until 5 April 2010.
Each year during April, May and June the Tax Credit Office write to you asking you to:
check the information they have about your personal circumstances
confirm the income you received in the year that has just ended
renew your claim
This helps the Tax Credit Office to check that the payments they have made to you were correct. It also allows them to base your payments for the year ahead on the right amount of income.
Sometimes you will have been paid too much or not enough. If this happens the Tax Credit Office will make an adjustment to make sure that your payments are correct. Any payments they make from 6 April 2010 to the date on which you renew your claim are temporary or provisional and if you don’t renew, you may be asked to pay them back.
Changes at home and work
If your circumstances change it can affect the amount of money you should be getting. So please contact the Tax Credit Office as soon as possible to tell them about any changes.