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The Tax Credit Office can normally pay tax credits for up to one month from when they get your claim form. This is known as backdating your claim. Sometimes your claim can be backdated for more than one month. For example if you're claiming extra tax credits because you're disabled, or you're an asylum-seeker.
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The Tax Credit Office can usually only backdate your claim for a period of up to one month from the date they get your form. So it's important to fill in your claim form and send it back to them as soon as you think you qualify. You could lose money if you wait.
In certain circumstances, backdating happens automatically when the Tax Credit Office deals with your claim, using the dates you've given them on your claim form.
If you're claiming for a new baby, the Tax Credit Office will automatically backdate your claim to their date of birth. But they must receive your claim within one month. For example, if you have a baby on 12 June but your claim's not received until 12 October, your payments will only start from 12 September.
Likewise, if you become responsible for a child, the Tax Credit Office will automatically backdate your claim to when you started looking after the child. But this is only as long as they receive your claim within one month.
You might have stopped claiming benefits because you've started a new job, or because you now work more than 16 hours a week. If the Tax Credit Office gets your claim within one month, they may backdate your tax credits payments to the date your benefits stopped.
If your claim is not backdated to an earlier date but you think it should have been, you need to contact the Tax Credit Office. You can do this by calling the Tax Credit Helpline, or you can write to them.
You'll need to ask for backdating if one of the following applies:
To ask for backdating, attach a separate sheet of paper to your claim form with the following information:
Your tax credits claim can be backdated for more than one month if any of the sections below apply to you.
If you’re making a new claim for Working Tax Credit, any payments you’re entitled to could be backdated for more than one month. This includes any extra tax credits for being disabled. But for this to happen both of the following need to apply:
You might already be getting Working Tax Credit. If so, tell the Tax Credit Office as soon as you find out you’re entitled to a qualifying sickness or disability benefit. Examples of qualifying sickness or disability benefits are Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment. Get in touch within one month of finding out, if you want your extra tax credits to be backdated to the earliest possible date.
If you're not already getting Child Tax Credit for your child, you should claim as soon as possible. This is because the Tax Credit Office can only backdate your claim for up to one month.
You may already be getting Child Tax Credit for your child but now want to claim extra tax credits because your child has a disability. If so, tell the Tax Credit Office as soon as your child is entitled to one of the following:
The Tax Credit Office may backdate your tax credits to the date you made your asylum claim. But they will need to receive your tax credits claim within one month of you being recorded as a refugee.
The Tax Credit Office will send you an award notice following your first claim for tax credits. You also get one every time you report a change in circumstance. The award notice will show you which tax credits elements you are receiving and from which date you are being paid.
It is important that you check your award notice carefully when you receive it. Tell the Tax Credit Office straight away if something is wrong, missing or incomplete.