How to claim tax credits

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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How to claim

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.

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Information you'll need to get a claim pack

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:

  • your income for the last tax year if you were employed - you can get this from your P60 or your final payslip for the tax year
  • details of your income for the last tax year if you were self-employed
  • details of any benefits you get like contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Carer's Allowance
  • details of other income you get like savings interest, pensions or rent
  • details of any childcare payments you make if you use a registered or approved provider

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

How long will it take to get your claim pack?

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.

Where to find your National Insurance number

You can find this on:

  • your P60 certificate or P45 from your current or last employer
  • your PAYE Coding Notice or a letter from the Tax Credit Office
  • your payslip from work
  • any letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Jobcentre Plus and in Northern Ireland, the Social Security office

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Where to send your claim form

You can fill the claim form in yourself and send it back by post to:

HM Revenue & Customs Tax Credits
Comben House
Farriers Way
Netherton
L75 1BY

If you claim other benefits, such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker's Allowance, you can give your completed form to:

  • your Jobcentre Plus
  • in Northern Ireland, your Social Security Office

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Should you make a joint or single claim?

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.

More about when to make a joint or single tax credits claim

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When to claim

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.

When your tax credit claim can be backdated

Protect your right to tax credits by claiming early

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Help with the claim form

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:

  • your Jobcentre Plus
  • in Northern Ireland, your Social Security Office

Download notes on making a tax credits claim (PDF 606K)

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

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Paperwork to keep

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.

Tax credits - what paperwork should you keep?

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More useful links

If you want someone to act on your behalf for tax credits

Claiming tax credits as an appointee

How to avoid common mistakes on your tax credits claim form

Find out how to get a National Insurance number on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

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