Tax credits: Where it all started

The current tax credits system was introduced in April 2003 and is radically different to its predecessors.

The current replaced Children's Tax Credit, Working Families Tax Credit, Disabled Person's Tax Credit and elements of the New Deal 50+. In addition, support for children paid through the benefits system was also integrated into Child Tax Credit. Although introduced in April 2003, debate about the design of the new system started much earlier.

Below we set out the history leading up to the Tax Credits Act 2002.

The detail of the new scheme was set out in Tackling Poverty and Making Work Pay - Tax Credits for the 21st Century.

A regulatory impact assessment was also published alongside the consultation document.

Many organisations responded to the consultation document. Below are links to some of the responses:

Low Incomes Tax Reform Group
Joseph Rowntree Foundation

See also the following freedom of information request documents that relate to the 2002 report:

Last reviewed/updated 1 July 2022