Child benefit could be stopped for thousands of parents unless they act NOW | The Sun

Child benefit could be stopped for thousands of parents unless they act NOW | The Sun


THOUSANDS of parents risk seeing their child benefit payments stopped if they don't act quickly.

HMRC is urging parents with children aged 16 to 19, who are continuing in full-time education to update their Child Benefit records.

If they don't, they risk seeing their payments end.

If you have a teenager who turned 16 this year, or whose birthday is before August 31, you'll need to update your record.

Families that miss the deadline on August 31 will automatically lose the benefit for their child.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC's deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, said: "Child benefit provides vital financial support for families and we want to make sure no-one misses out because they haven't updated their details on time."

The payments are worth £21.80 a week if your eldest child has turned 16 or £14.45 per week if it's a middle or younger child.

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This means that parents and carers could lose more than £1,100 next year if they don't get in touch.

You can claim child benefit up until your child's 19th birthday.

So, if you miss the deadline this year, that could mean losing out on £3,400 over three years.

How do I let HMRC know if my child is carrying on in full-time education?

Updating your Child Benefit records is an easy process and can be done via the government's website.

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You can also return the 297b form if one has been sent to you by HMRC.

Around 1.3million letters have been sent out to families who had children aged 16 or older telling them to get in touch with HMRC if their child or children was continuing in Full-Time Non-Advanced Education (FTNAE).

Around 600,000 have replied so far confirming their child or children are remaining in FTNAE.

Parents or guardians of those who are not continuing in FTNAE do not have to take any action.

If you are logging in online, you'll need your Government Gateway user ID, which should be made up of 12 characters, and your HMRC password.

If you don't know what your Gateway user ID or password is, you can request them on the website by entering the email address you used to set up an account.

You'll then be sent a passcode to the registered email address.

How do child benefit payments work?

Parents and carers get child benefit if they're responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • Under 16
  • Under 20 but is staying in approved education or training

What approved education and training actually means is whether it is an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience and includes:

  • A levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
  • T levels
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
  • home education – if it started before your child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
  • traineeships in England

Courses will not be approved by HMRC if they're paid for by an employer or are "advanced", such as a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.

As a parent or carer, you'll get £21.80 a week for your eldest or only child and £14.45 per child for any additional children.

The money is usually paid every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday.

If the money is due on a bank holiday, the payment date will likely be earlier.

The payment should show up on your bank statement as "HMRC Child Benefit".

If you or your partner's individual income is over £50,000, you may be taxed on your child benefit payments under the so-called High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge.

If both partners' incomes are over £50,000, the person with the highest salary is responsible for paying the tax charge.

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On top of your child leaving full-time education at 16, you'll stop receiving child benefit immediately if your child:

  • starts an apprenticeship in England
  • starts getting certain benefits in their own right, such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or tax credits

We previously explained why your child benefit might have been reduced.

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