Leaving tax credits
You may have got a letter from the Tax Credit Office saying that your
tax credits will end from April 2013, unless you contact them. Or you
may no longer want to get tax credits. Find out what leaving tax credits
means for you and how to do it.
On this page:
Who can leave tax credits?
Anyone can leave tax credits. You may have personal reasons for leaving,
or you might have got a letter (TC1015) from the Tax Credit Office explaining
- your total annual income is likely to be too high to get any payments
from April 2013
- your tax credits claim will end from April 2013 - unless you get
What are the income limits for tax credits?
The income limit for you depends on your own situation. But as a very
rough guide, you might not be able to get any payments of tax credits
if your income is more than around:
- £26,000 if you have one child
- £32,200 if you have two children
- £13,000 if you're single with no children
- £18,000 if you're in a couple with no children
These limits will also apply from 6 April 2013 - but remember they are
only a rough guide. You could still qualify from 6 April 2013 if your
income is above these amounts. For example, if you pay for registered
or approved childcare, are disabled, or have more children.
What to take into account before deciding to leave
If you decide you want to leave tax credits, the following will happen:
- your claim will end, and you'll need to make a new claim if your
circumstances change - for example if your income drops or you have
a new baby
- any new claim would only be backdated by up to one month (sometimes
longer if you qualify for the Disability element of Working Tax Credit)
Any delay in making your new claim could mean you lose out on payments
you may be entitled to.
Staying in tax credits means:
- your claim will continue, even if you haven't been getting any payments
- you won't need to make a new claim if your circumstances change,
for example if your income drops - you would just need to report the
change to the Tax Credit Office
- you may be entitled to extra money for the whole tax year if your
circumstances change or your income drops - for example if you lost
out which changes of circumstances you need to report and when
your tax credits claim can be backdated
You currently qualify for the Disability element of Working Tax Credit
You may currently qualify for the Disability element of Working Tax Credit,
even if you don't actually get any tax credits payments. Your latest award
notice will tell you what you qualify for.
If this applies to you and you want to leave tax credits, you need to
- you will need to make a new claim for tax credits if your circumstances
change later on
- any new claim will only be backdated by up to one month (sometimes
longer if you qualify for the Disability element)
- you may not qualify for the Disability element when you make the
new claim - especially if there's a gap of eight weeks or more between
leaving tax credits and making a new claim
If you decide to stay in tax credits, you can still qualify for the
Disability element - as long as your circumstances stay the same.
have a disability - can you get extra Working Tax Credit
What to do if the Tax Credit Office tells you your tax
credits claim will end from April 2013
You might have received a letter (TC1015) from the Tax Credit Office,
- your income is likely to be too high to get any payments from April
- they will be ending your claim from April 2013 - unless you get in
touch by the date shown in the letter
If you've had one of these letters, you need to:
- decide whether you want your claim to continue - even if you won't
get any payments
- call the Tax Credit Office by the date shown in the letter if you
want your claim to continue - use the phone number shown in the letter
Get in touch straight away if your circumstances have changed but you
haven't told the Tax Credit Office - you could still get some payments.
For example, you might have had a new baby or a drop in income, or you
think your income is going to drop.
The income limits for tax credits given in the letter are only a guide.
If your income drops, even if it's still higher than the limits given
in the letter, you could still get some tax credits payments. This is
because the income limit for you will depend on your own circumstances.
It's particularly important to get in touch straight away if either
of the following apply:
- you think your total income for the tax year 2012-13 will be less
than your total income for the tax year 2011-12
- you think your total income will drop for the whole of the tax year
A tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next.
The phone number for getting in touch is shown in the letter.
If you don't contact the Tax Credit Office in time
If you don't get in touch by the date shown in the letter, the following
- your claim will end on 5 April 2013
- you'll be sent an Annual Review form (TC603R) with instructions telling
you what you need to do
It's important to follow the instructions that come with the Annual
Review form. This is so the Tax Credit Office can make sure you were paid
the right amount for your claim up to 5 April 2013.
What to do if you decide to leave tax credits for any
You can leave tax credits at any time for your own personal reasons.
You can do this by:
- contacting the Tax Credit Helpline
- writing to the Tax Credit Office
You need to get in touch by 31 July if you want your claim to stop for
the current tax year. If you get in touch at any other time, your claim
will carry on until the end of the current tax year. For example, if you
got in touch in September 2013, your claim would carry on until 5 April
2014, when it would end.
If you want your claim to stop for the current tax year, you may be asked
to repay any money you shouldn't have had since 6 April.
details for the Tax Credit Helpline and address of the Tax Credit Office
Changing your mind about leaving tax credits
Once you have left tax credits, you will need to make a brand new claim
if you want to get tax credits again.
to claim tax credits
Need more help?
You can get more help from any of the following:
- the Tax Credit Helpline
- an independent adviser, for example the Citizens Advice Bureau or
a Local Authority Welfare Rights Service
- anyone who acts on your behalf - it may help to show them any letter
that you have been sent
details for the Tax Credit Helpline
your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau on their website (Opens new window)
More useful links
if you qualify for tax credits - quick questionnaire
overpaid tax credits
If you want
someone to act on your behalf for tax credits