To claim tax credits you have to fill in a claim form, and there's plenty of help available if you need it.
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To claim tax credits you have to fill in a claim form. You can only get a tax credits claim pack from the Tax Credit Helpline. You can't download a claim form, or make your claim online.
There are two types of tax credit - Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. But you only need to complete one claim form, even if you want to claim both.
If you've got a National Insurance number, have it handy before you call the helpline. The helpline will also ask you for other information, including your income in the last tax year. A tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next. So it's a good idea to get the following together before you call:
The helpline aims to send your claim pack to you within one week. You should get back in touch if you haven't received it after two weeks.
You can find this on:
You can fill the claim form in yourself and send it back by post to:
HM Revenue & Customs Tax Credits
If you claim other benefits, such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker's Allowance, you can give your completed form to:
If you live with someone as a couple you must make a joint tax credits claim - you can't decide to claim as a single person. You'll have to give information about both of you on the claim form and you'll share responsibility for making sure that this information is correct.
Make a claim for tax credits as soon as you think you qualify. If you wait you could lose money, because tax credits can normally only be backdated up to one month. For example, if you have a baby on 12 June and your claim form is received on 12 October, you'll only be paid from 12 September.
Sometimes it might be worth making a claim even if you think your income is too high to get any money at the moment. You might want to do this if you expect your income to go down later in the year, perhaps because of redundancy.
You can't claim in advance for a new baby - you need to wait until they've been born. But if you already have children, you don’t have to wait to claim for them.
If you're starting work and want to claim Working Tax Credit, you can make a claim up to seven days before your job starts.
You'll get a set of notes with your claim form that will help you fill it in. But if you need any further help completing the form, you can call the Tax Credit Helpline who will be happy to provide advice.
If you claim other benefits, such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker's Allowance, you'll get help with your claim form from:
Once you've made your claim, it's a good idea to keep certain paperwork and documents safe. This will help if the Tax Credit Office needs to check your details in future. It could also help if you ever need to make an appeal, for example.