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If you have a new baby, or you're responsible for any children under 16, you could get Child Tax Credit. You can also qualify if you have children aged 16 to 19, as long as they're in certain types of education or training.
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You can usually claim Child Tax Credit for:
If you have a baby, your payments can be backdated to when the baby was born - but only if you claim within one month. For example, if your baby was born on 1 January but your claim is received on 1 June, you'll only be paid from 1 May.
Once 31 August after your child's 16th birthday passes, you can still claim Child Tax Credit for them, as long as they are:
Education or training counts for Child Tax Credit if it's either full-time, 'non-advanced' education, or 'approved' training. For example 'A' levels, or Foundation Learning.
You can claim Child Tax Credit if you have responsibility for a child. This could be for example if:
There can be exceptions to this. For example, if a child from abroad lives with you as an exchange student, you can’t normally claim Child Tax Credit for them. This is because they do not usually live with you and are only in the UK for their education.
If you're not sure whether you count as being responsible for a child you can call the Tax Credit Helpline for advice.
A child might be placed with you for either adoption or fostering. You can claim Child Tax Credit for them as long as you're not getting any money from your:
If you are getting money from either of these, call the Tax Credit Helpline to find out if you can claim.
Only one household can get Child Tax Credit for a child.
You might look after a child who sometimes lives with you and sometimes lives with someone else. You can't both get Child Tax Credit for the same child, so you'll have to decide who should get it.
You can't claim Child Tax Credit if your child doesn't live with you at all - even if you're paying maintenance.
If you can't agree who'll get the Child Tax Credit, both of you should claim for the child. Then the Tax Credit Office will decide for you. They'll contact both of you so that they can work out who has main responsibility for the child. They will consider things that include the number of days the child lives with you, and where they keep most of their clothes and toys.
Someone else might make a claim for a child you're getting Child Tax Credit for. If this happens, the Tax Credit Office may ask you to tell them why you think you have main responsibility for that child.
If you can't agree who should get the Child Tax Credit, the Tax Credit Office will decide for you. You'll still keep getting paid while they make their decision.
You may be able to claim Child Tax Credit for your child if you live in the UK and any of the following apply:
If both you and your child live outside the UK, you can't
normally claim tax credits. But special rules sometimes apply
which mean you can still claim. For example, if your partner's
a Crown servant posted overseas, and you've gone with them,
or you're getting certain UK benefits or State Pension.
The countries in the EEA along with the UK are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
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:
Tell the Tax Credit Office within three months if your child is aged 16 or 17, and both of the following happen:
If you don’t, you could lose out on an extra period of Child Tax Credit for your child, of up to 20 weeks.