Child Benefit is a payment which can be made to a person who is responsible for one or more children under 16. If they stay in approved education or training, then this rises to the under 20 age bracket. There is no limit to how many children one can claim for, although only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. There are two Child Benefit rates, with this being £20.70 per week for the eldest or only child.
For any additional children, the rate stands at £13.70 per child.
If a family splits up, the £20.70 per week rate applies to the eldest child living with each partner – but only one of the former partners can get the payment for the same child.
Should two families join together, then the eldest child in this new family would qualify for the higher rate, with the £13.70 rate being applied to each of any other children.
Should a person or their partner’s individual income exceed £50,000, then a tax charge may apply to Child Benefit.
This is known as the High Income Child Benefit Charge.
It can also apply if one has an individual income over £50,000 and has a child living with them, but someone else gets their Child Benefit and contributes at least an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep.
If a person earns £60,000, then the tax charge to pay will equal the amount of Child Benefit which is received.
Some people may choose to waive Child Benefit due to the High Income Child Benefit Charge.
However, HMRC advises filling in the Child Benefit claim form anyway.
Doing this means a person can waive the payment, but still claim National Insurance credits which count towards one’s state pension, up until the child turns 12.
If the individual isn’t working, or doesn’t earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions, they can get up to 12 qualifying years on their National Insurance record.
For the full new state pension, a person needs 35 qualifying years on their National Insurance record.
One will usually need at least 10 qualifying years on their National Insurance record in order to get any state pension.
A spokesperson for HMRC has told Express.co.uk: “To ensure no one misses out on their full state pension entitlement, HMRC has always encouraged families to claim Child Benefit, including households who might have to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC).
“The Child Benefit claim form – which is included in Bounty Packs – has been redesigned for 2019 to stress the importance of this.
“However, we are continuously considering ways in which communications can be improved further, both at the birth of a child and for existing Child Benefit claimants.”