Information from HMRC relating to Tax Credits and Child Benefit claims

16 April 2020

From 6 April 2020, there were increases to Benefit and Tax Credit payments. HMRC wants to make people aware of this, and also of the fact that parents of new-borns will still be able to claim Child Benefit despite the outbreak of coronavirus.

HMRC confirmed that the basic element of Working Tax Credit has been increased to £3,040 from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021, as part of a series of measures implemented to support the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amounts that individuals or households receive are dependent on their circumstances including the level of household income, but the increase could equate to an additional £20 per week for some.

Child Benefit was also uprated by 1.7%, along with other tax credits rates and thresholds and Guardian’s Allowance, from 6 April 2020.

Affected individuals do not need to take any action as the increased payments will be paid automatically. Payment dates will differ for different people, but everyone should receive the increased payment by 18 May 2020.

Tax credits claims will be automatically renewed by HMRC this year, with the exception of those identified as high risk. Approximately 3.9 million customers will have their claim automatically renewed and will receive an auto-renewal pack. They only need to contact HMRC if the details in their pack are incorrect. HMRC requires further information from around 150,000 customers, who will be sent a reply required renewal pack, which will need to be completed in the normal way.

If individuals currently claim tax credits and they claim Universal Credit, their tax credit award will be closed from the day before their Universal Credit claim is made. Once a claim for Universal Credit has been made, it is not possible to return to tax credits.

HMRC also published a press release that confirmed that new parents could still claim Child Benefit without having to register their child’s birth first, to ensure that they do not miss out.

First time parents are required to complete the online Child Benefit Claim form CH2 and send to the Child Benefit Office. Where the birth has not been registered due to coronavirus, the parents should add a note to their claim to advise of this.

For parents already claiming Child Benefit, they can complete the form or have the option of adding their new-born child’s details by phone by calling 0300 200 3100, quoting their National Insurance number or Child Benefit number.