Image by Paul Inkles, Sheffield, UK
A tax credit is a reduction in your tax bill granted by HMRC to those who find it difficult to pay their bills for a number of different reasons. Whether or not you're receiving council benefits it's worth investigating if you qualify.
Factors that affect your entitlement to Working Tax Credit include your income level, your life circumstances, and any other benefits you receive. If you feel you are over 25, working more than 30 hours per week, and your income is low, you might qualify.
If you currently receive Disability Living Allowance or Incapacity Benefit, or if you received either of these benefits before you started working, then you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit. This works on the supposition that people with disabilities have a tougher time getting a high paying job.
If you've started work within the last three months and you are over 50, then you could be entitled to Working Tax Credit, especially if you also receive or used to receive Income Support, a state pension, Incapacity Benefit or National Insurance credits.
If you live with and are supported by your partner, and they work more than 24 hours per week, you may have found that you are not eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance or Income Support. You may still be entitled to Working Tax Credit, though, as well as schemes like Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
New parents are so busy worrying about the health of their newborn child, it can be difficult to find the time to apply for the appropriate benefits, so here is what you need to know:
Child Benefit is available to every UK family regardless of individual circumstances. You'll receive £20.30 per week for your eldest child, and £13.40 per week for each additional child in your care.
Child Tax Credits
If your child lives with you, is under 16, or under 20 but enrolled in full time education, you might qualify for Child Tax Credits. If your child has a disability, the credit increases. The amount you receive will depend on your family's income and circumstances.
Working Tax Credit
Having a child also affects your eligibility for Working Tax Credits. If you are working at least 16 hours a month, you might qualify.
Managing finances becomes even more complicated when you're not just planning for yourself, you're planning for a family. Use home finance software to see the transactions and balances of all your bank accounts and credit cards in one place.
For more information on benefits and tax credits, or to make an application, go to the UK Government website, or the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 (textphone 0845 300 3909).