If your circumstances change after you start claiming Child Benefit then you will have to let HMRC know as sometimes this could affect your payments
Child Benefit payments could be stopped or reduced if you do not report these changes to HMRC.
Child Benefit is paid by the HMRC to people that are responsible for bringing up a child. Around seven million people in the UK currently claim it. Everyone who has responsibility for a child can receive the money – this includes adoptive parents, grandparents, and some foster parents.
Currently, those claiming Child Benefit get £24 a week (around £96 a month or £1,251.43 a year) for the first child, and £15.90 a week (around £63.60 a month or £829.07 a year) for any additional children. From April 2024, the rate for the eldest or only child will go up to £25.60 a week and the rate for additional children goes up to £16.95 a week.
However, if your circumstances change after you start claiming Child Benefit then you will have to let HMRC know as sometimes this could affect your payments. Usually, you will need to report the “change in circumstance” within one month of the change. According to HMRC guidance, the following changes could affect your payments.
- You or your partner start earning more than £50,000
If you earn more than £50,000 a year, then you will start paying the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). This means you will need to pay back some of the Child Benefit you get – you have to pay back 1% of the money you receive for every £100 earned above £50,000.
You separate or divorce from your partner
Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child and usually, it is the person the child lives with. If you want the other person to claim, then you will need to request this from HMRC
- Your living arrangements have changed
Moving house won’t affect your Child Benefit if the child still lives with you – but it will if you move abroad. You can only claim Child Benefit for the first eight weeks you are not in the UK, or 12 weeks if you are having medical treatment.
- Your immigration status has changed
If you are not from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein and your immigration status changes, your Child Benefit could be affected – although your partner may still have the ability to claim depending on their circumstance.
Other things you will need to report to HMRC include:
- You move home
- Your bank or Building Society account changes
- You change your name or gender
- You start caring for another child
- You move abroad or to Northern Ireland
- If a parent dies
- You lose the right to reside in the UK
- You end a relationship or start a new one – for example, you move in with a new partner or get married
- You get a prison sentence of more than eight weeks
Alongside these changes, you will also need to inform HMRC of any changes to your child’s circumstances too. HMRC says you will need to inform them if:
- Your child is 16 – 20 and leaves education or training
- Your child is aged 16 or over and starts working for more than 24 hours a week
- Your child starts getting income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, tax credits, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance
- Your child gets married or forms a civil partnership
- Your child dies or goes missing
- Your child lives away from you for more than eight weeks in a row
- Your child moves in with their partner permanently
- Your child leaves the country for more than 12 weeks, unless it is part of school education or to get medical treatment
- Your child goes to prison for more than eight weeks
If your child goes into hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks you will also need to inform HMRC but you might be able to keep getting it if you’re paying some money towards the child’s needs, such as medicine, clothes or food. You must also tell HMRC if your child changes their name – however, this won’t affect your Child Benefit amount.
How to report changes to HMRC
You can report a change online through your GOV.UK Government Gateway account but you can also contact HMRC through the post, or over the phone by calling the Child Benefit office on 0300 200 3100. After making the report, HMRC will send you a letter telling you if your Child Benefit has been stopped or increased. – this will usually be within 30 days.