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When your child reaches 16 you can still get Child Tax Credit for them. But they'll need to be staying in full-time, 'non-advanced' education at school or college, or starting an 'approved' training course. To help make sure you get the right payments, you need to tell the Tax Credit Office your child's plans.
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You can get Child Tax Credit for your child up to their 20th birthday, if they're in education that counts for Child Tax Credit.
Education counts for Child Tax Credit as long as it's full-time, 'non-advanced' education. Your child needs to have started, enrolled or been accepted onto a course that counts before their 19th birthday.
Full-time, non-advanced education will usually be in a school or college, studying for qualifications like:
You can't get Child Tax Credit if your child is doing:
'Full-time' means they're taught or supervised for more than an average of 12 hours a week during term time.
You can still get Child Tax Credit for your child up to their 20th birthday if they're doing 'approved' training. Your child needs to have started, enrolled or been accepted onto an unwaged approved course before their 19th birthday.
For a training course to be approved it should be one of the following:
A course provided by an employer as part of a job contract doesn't count as approved.
Your child might not be staying on in education or training that counts for Child Tax Credit after age 16. If so, your Child Tax Credit payments will usually stop for them on 31 August after their 16th birthday.
Your child might carry on in education or training, but leave at a later date - for example at age 18 or 19. Your payments will stop when your child leaves education or training that counts for Child Tax Credit.
If your child is still under 18, you could get up to 20 extra weeks of Child Tax Credit for them after they leave. For more information, see the next section.
If your child leaves education or training before they're 18, you could get an extra period of Child Tax Credit for them.
The extra period is up to 20 weeks. It starts from the date your child left education or training that counted for Child Tax Credit.
To qualify for these extra weeks, your child needs to be aged 16 or 17 and be registered with any of the following:
You must tell the Tax Credit Office within three months of your child leaving education or training that they've registered with any of these organisations.
If you leave it longer than three months to get in touch, you won't be able to get the extra money.
If your child stops being registered with the organisation before the 20 weeks ends, you must tell the Tax Credit Office straight away.
EEA countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Your Child Tax Credit payments will stop straight away if one of the following happens:
But your payments can continue if your child works and also stays in education or training that counts for Child Tax Credit. For this to happen, the education or training needs to meet the conditions explained in the first two sections above.
Tell the Tax Credit Office within one month if your child:
If you don't report these changes, you might be paid too much in tax credits. If the Tax Credit Office does overpay you, you'll usually have to pay the money back. They may also charge you a penalty.
Tell the Tax Credit Office as soon as possible if your child stays on in education or training that counts for Child Tax Credit after they reach 16. If you don't, you'll only get Child Tax Credit for them until 31 August after their 16th birthday.
From September 2013, children in England must stay in education or training until the end of the school year they turn 17. But the Tax Credit Office won't know if your child's staying on unless you tell them. You still need to get in touch to let them know.
Tell the Tax Credit Office within three months if your child is aged 16 or 17, and both of the following happen:
You can report a change by either calling the Tax Credit Helpline or writing to the Tax Credit Office.
You can't email or report changes online for tax credits.