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Tax credits

Tax credits are extra money paid by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to people who are on a low income. This may be because their pay is low or because they have dependants.

About tax credits

Tax credits are means-tested benefits and they’re paid by HMRC. People who are on a low income may be able to get Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit or both.

Child Tax Credit

This tax credit is for people on a low income (whether in work or out of work) who have:

  • dependant children aged up to 16
  • dependant young persons aged up to 20 who are usually in education or training.

Working Tax Credit

This tax credit is for people in low paid work. There are several ways to get it. You may qualify if you're working 16 hours or more a week and you have a disability that puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job. You also need to meet one of the following conditions:

How much could you get?

These are means-tested benefits, so they vary depending on how much or how little other money you have coming in. The amount you qualify for will depend on your circumstances and income.

How to claim tax credits

You only need to make one claim whether you’re claiming Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, or both. You start by phoning the HMRC Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900 (or textphone 0345 300 3909) for a claim form.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new means-tested benefit that will eventually replace tax credits and most means-tested benefits.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can claim tax credits or Universal Credit depends on where you live and your personal situation. Existing tax credits claimants will also be asked to claim Universal Credit over the next few years.

For a list of areas where you can claim Universal Credit visit the website

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