5 September 2016

Reminder to tell HMRC about 16+ year olds staying in education or approved training

For both child benefit and tax credits, HMRC’s systems automatically remove children from awards from 1 September following their 16th birthday, and again once they turn 17,18 and 19. Claimants are still entitled to claim for young people if they are in full-time non-advanced education or approved training (provided they’re enrolled on a course before they’re 19) but claimants have to tell HMRC to get them added back on to the award, otherwise payments stop.

If the child subsequently leaves qualifying education or training, claimants must notify HMRC as soon as possible to prevent overpayment and certainly within a month, although there are rules which allow child benefit and child tax credit for 20 weeks if the child/young person registers for work or training with an appropriate qualifying body.  

You can read more about child benefit  and child tax credit  for 16+ year olds on the GOV.UK website and in our Entitlement section on Revenuebenefits.

Strictly speaking, claimants should tell both child benefit and tax credits but HMRC say that they have improved their internal systems so that claimants only need to notify either child benefit or tax credits and HMRC will ensure that both records are updated from the notification. This is much better for claimants but we recommend claimants check their award notices and subsequent payments carefully to ensure the details have been updated correctly and contact HMRC straightaway if there are any errors.

You can notify HMRC :

·         on-line via the GOV.UK website, using your  Personal Tax Account , Manage your tax credits , the child benefit on-line form, CH297, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-benefit-child-continuing-in-approved-education-or-training-ch297 ,

·         by phone: Child Benefit telephone number 0300 200 3100, textphone 0300 200 3103); Tax credits helpline 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909)

·         post: HMRC – Child Benefit Office, PO Box 1, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE88 1AA ; or, HMRC – Tax Credits Office, Child Tax Credit, Preston PR1 4AT