High Income Child Benefit: problems getting information from a partner
You will need to talk to your partner to find out if one of you gets Child Benefit and one of you has an individual income of more than £50,000 a year. If you can't get this information, you can get in touch with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
On this page:
Who can ask HMRC for the information
You should only ask HMRC for information if you have not been able to talk to your partner about their income and Child Benefit payments.
If this applies to you, you can only ask if you are one of the following:
- You have an individual income of more than £50,000 in a tax year and live with that partner.
- You have an individual income of more than £50,000 in a tax year and have split up from your partner during that year.
Your tax adviser or accountant can request this information but they
must be formally authorised to act on your behalf.
Authorising a tax adviser to deal with your High Income Child Benefit charge
Information you can ask for
Because of the need to respect the confidentiality of your tax affairs, and those of your partner or ex-partner, the only information you can get from HMRC will be one or both of the following:
- Whether your partner/ex-partner received Child Benefit for a specific tax year.
- Whether your individual adjusted net income was higher than your partner's/ex-partner's income for a specific tax year.
This will be based on the latest information available to HMRC.
How and what to ask HMRC for
You can either send in an online form which sets out what you can ask for, or you can write to:
HM Revenue & Customs
High Income Child Benefit charge
PO Box 192
Ask HMRC for High Income Child Benefit information
You won't be able to ask HMRC for the information over the telephone or in person.
If you do want to ask for information, you will need to use this exact wording in your letter:
'Based on the latest information available to HMRC:
- Did my partner/ex-partner receive Child Benefit for [insert specified year]? and/or
- Is/Was my individual adjusted net income higher than my partner's/ex-partner's
income for [insert specified tax year]?'
Your letter will also need to include:
- your name and address including postcode
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance number
- your individual adjusted net income for the tax year you want the information for
- your partner's or ex-partner's name, full address (including postcode) and their date of birth or National Insurance number if you know it
Authorised tax advisers
If you are writing in on behalf of a client, you need to make it clear that the details relate to your client.
HMRC will reply to you. The reply will be in the same format as if your client had asked for the information themselves.
What HMRC will do
When HMRC gets your request they will:
- check their records
- verify both you and your partner or ex-partner from the information you have supplied
- let you know whether or not they can provide you with the information you have asked for
If HMRC can't provide you with the information, they will not be able to tell you why.
The information HMRC can provide
HMRC will only provide the following in their reply:
In relation to question 1:
- 'Yes/No, [insert partner's/ex-partner's name] did/did not receive Child Benefit for [insert specified year]'
In relation to question 2, that based on latest information available to HMRC:
- either that 'the income for [insert partner's/ex-partner's name and the year for which the information is being provided] was higher than the figure provided by you', or
- 'the income for [insert partner's/ex-partner's name and the year for which the information is being provided] was not higher than the figure provided by you'
Follow up requests
If HMRC can't provide you with information for the tax year you need you can contact them again. But you will need to ask for the information in the same way as you did for your original request.
More useful links
You're affected by the High Income Child Benefit charge - what next?
Adjusted net income