Child Benefit is offered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to eligible families raising children under the age of 16, or under 20 if they are in approved education or training. While the benefit is tax-free for most people, some will be required to pay tax, and it is important for both groups to understand the amount to which they are entitled. The payment is issued regularly by the DWP, and most claimants can expect to receive the benefit every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday.
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The only exceptions are single parents or those receiving certain other benefits, such as Income Support.
The government has outlined the two separate Child Benefit rates which are likely to affect families across the UK.
For the eldest or only child, families can expect to receive £21.05 as a weekly rate.
Any additional children receive a weekly rate of £13.95 per child, with no limit to how many children who can be claimed for.
Those affected by tax to the Child Benefit sum are those with an income over £50,000.
This tax bill can vary from person to person depending on specific earnings, which can often complicate matters of calculating entitlement amounts.
To assist those who may be struggling or time-pressed to work out their entitlement, the government has provided a Child Benefit tax calculator.
The tax calculator can be accessed via the government’s website and assists with estimating two main components:
- How much Child Benefit the claimant may receive within a tax year
- The High Income Benefit Tax Charge the claimant may have to pay
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It is important for Britons to first have at hand the dates their Child Benefit started before accessing the online portal.
Firstly, eligible claimants are asked how many children they wish to claim for, alongside the relevant tax year.
Britons are then prompted to enter their income details for the specific tax year they are looking to claim for.
They should not combine their household income, and should use their partner’s income if it is higher than theirs.
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Other information surrounding salaries before tax and other income streams are also necessary to fill out when using the calculator.
This provides the most accurate picture as possible of what tax, if any, a person is required to pay.
An optional section to fill in is information surrounding any allowable deductions a person may receive.
These include pension contributions, retirement annuity contracts, Gift Aid donations and cycle schemes.
The calculator then provides claimants with the amount they receive in Child Benefit, along with an estimate of the tax they will be required to pay.
Those who earn between £50,000 to £60,000 are required to pay back on percent of Child Benefit for every extra £100 they earn over £50,000 within a year.
However, for those who earn over £60,000 there is bad news on the tax to be paid, as those earning over this amount will lose their entire benefit through income tax.
But nonetheless, high earners are encouraged to keep using the Child Benefit claim form known as CH2, even if they opt out of receiving the funds.
This is because claiming Child Benefit in this way can help parents or guardians receive National Insurance (NI) credits which can protect State Pension entitlements.
It also allows children to receive a National Insurance number automatically shortly before reaching the age of 16.
There are deadlines for paying any relevant tax on Child Benefit, and this usually must be done through a self-assessment form.
Parents and guardians can select to stop getting Child Benefit at any point if they so choose.
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