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Child Tax Credit - How do I claim Child Tax Credit?

Child Tax Credit is paid to help people with the costs of bringing up a child. It is being replaced by Universal Credit so only some people can still claim Child Tax Credit.

How do I claim Child Tax Credit?

If you are already getting tax credits and you need to change your claim, for example because you are receiving Working Tax Credit and want to claim Child Tax Credit, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Tax Credits by phone or manage your tax credits online.

Remember that your tax credits claim has to be renewed every year by 31 July. If you do not renew your claim, your tax credit payments may stop and you may have to pay some tax credits back. See Gov.UK: How to Renew your Tax Credits

What documents will I need to claim Child Tax Credit?

When you make a claim for Child Tax Credit, you may be asked for:

  • Your national insurance number. If you do not have a national insurance number, send in the claim form anyway to avoid delays
  • Proof of your identity, for example birth certificate, passport or driving licence
  • Proof of your annual income, for example, P60, bank statements or pay slips.

If you qualify for an exception to the Two-Child Limit, you may also be asked for other documents, for example:

  • Adoption certificate
  • Social worker’s declaration (for kinship care placements)
  • Support worker’s declaration (for children conceived as a result of rape).

See Gov.UK: How to qualify for an exception to the Two Child Limit

When will my Child Tax Credit claim begin?

Your Child Tax Credit claim will not start until your completed form has been received by HMRC. It is important that you get your completed form in as soon as possible so you don’t lose out.

Child Tax Credit can be backdated for up to 31 days if you would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your claim is late. You can request backdating by including a letter with your claim form. Most backdating for Child Tax Credit happens automatically. The notes that come with the claim form explain when you will need to send a letter asking for the extra 31 days backdating.

Change of circumstances

Child Tax Credit is paid on a year by year basis but it is very important to tell HMRC about changes in your circumstances during the year which could affect the money you get. You must tell them about some changes within one month.

See Gov.UK: Changes that affect your Tax Credits

You can report changes of circumstances to HMRC by post, phone or online.

Reviewed: September 2021

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