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Working Tax Credit

Key information

Working Tax Credit is money for working people who are on a low income. It does not matter whether you are working for someone else or are self-employed.

Applies to

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules

You must be 16 or over, but in some circumstances you must be 25 or over

Type of benefit

Means tested



Administered by

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)


What's on this page?

Can I get Working Tax Credit?

To get Working Tax Credit, you and/or your partner must work at least a certain number of hours a week:

  • If you are single and responsible for a child and are 16 or over, you must work at least 16 hours a week.
  • If you are a couple and responsible for a child and are 16 or over, you must work at least 24 hours a week between you (with one working at least 16 hours). Exceptions apply, see our Tax Credit changes sheet for further details.
  • If you qualify for the disability element of WTC and are 16 or over, you must work at least 16 hours a week.
  • If you are 60 or over, you must work at least 16 hours a week.
  • Otherwise, you must be 25 or over and work at least 30 hours a week.

See our information on how to calculate your Working Hours.

You do not need to have children to qualify but if you do have children, you could get extra money to help with childcare costs. For further information see Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit

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How much Working Tax Credit will I get?

The amount you get depends on your circumstances. A maximum amount is made up of different parts based on your personal circumstances, for example:

  • A basic element    
  • A childcare element
  • An element for working 30 hours or more per week
  • Disability elements

You may not get the maximum amount if you have other income. Savings do not affect your claim but interest from savings is included in your income.

Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to find out how much Working Tax Credit you may be entitled to.

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How do I claim Working Tax Credit?

Get a claim form by phoning HM Revenue and Customs Tax Credits Helpline :

Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Textphone: 0345 300 3909

You have to renew your claim by 31 July every year.  If you do not renew it, your Working Tax Credit may stop. See the website for more information on renewing tax credits (link opens in a new window).

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What documents will I need?

You will need:

  • your national insurance number
  • proof of who you are, for example a birth certificate or driving licence.
  • proof of your annual income, for example bank statements or pay slips
  • your partner's details if they live with you.

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Can Working Tax Credit be backdated?

You may be able to get Working Tax Credit backdated for up to 31 days. It is important to get claims in quickly so you don’t lose out.

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How do I challenge a Working Tax Credit decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your claim you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

Further information on Challenges and complaints

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Change of circumstance

Working Tax Credit is paid on a year by year basis but it is very important to tell HM Revenue and Customs about changes during the year which could affect the money you get. You must tell them about some changes within one month.

See the website for more information about changes that affect tax credits (link opens in a new window).

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Further help

For more help, you can phone the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900. 

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Benefits Cap and Working Tax Credit

If you or your partner receive Working Tax Credit, you will be exempt from the benefit cap.

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Updated: 8 May 2014

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