Child Tax Credit is a benefit given the UK government to help with the cost of raising a child. You are eligible for this tax credit if you are 16 or over and responsible for a child who is either:

·         Under 16;

·         Under 20 and in full-time education or training

·         You have one child, and your household annual income is less than around £26,000.

·         You have two children, and your household annual income is less than around £32,200.

Even if you earn more than this you may still be entitled to Child Tax Credit under different circumstances. HMRC has made available an online calculator that you can use to check.

HMRC says that you can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for.

You’re usually responsible for a child if:

  • they live with you all the time
  • they normally live with you and you’re the main carer
  • they keep their toys and clothes at your home
  • you pay for their meals and give them pocket money
  • they live in an EEA country or Switzerland but are financially dependent on you

If you adopted or fostered a child, you can claim for an adopted or fostered child if you’re not getting money from your local council (Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland). If you do get money call the Tax Credit Helpline to find out if you can claim.

If you’re responsible for a disabled child, you may get extra Child Tax Credits if your child either:

·         gets Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment

·         is certified blind (or was within 28 weeks of your tax credits claim)

You still qualify if Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment stops because the child goes into hospital.

The amount you get also depends on things like:

·         Your income

·         Whether your child has a disability, and

·         How many children you have living with you.

The rates for the 2017 to 2018 tax year are:

Child Tax Credit elements

What it means

Current maximum amount (per year)

Family element – the basic element

It’s the basic payment if you are responsible for one or more children.


Child element

This is paid for each of your children. It is paid on top of the basic family element and any baby addition.


Disability element

This is an extra payment for each disabled child you have.


Severe disability element

This is an extra payment for each severely disabled child you have. It is paid on top of any disability element.





Two Child Limit

Starting from 6 April 2017, the amount of Child Elements that are included in your Child Tax Credit is limited to two children.

You will still get a Child Element in your Child Tax Credit for your children if they were part of your family before 6 April 2017. If you have a third (or more) child on or after 6 April 2017, you will not get a Child Element for them unless an exception applies.

Remember to tell HMRC about all of your children even if you will not receive a Child Element for them. You may still get other elements for them like the Disabled Child elements or the Childcare element of Working Tax Credit.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account (a bank account, for example) of the person mainly responsible for the child.

You’re paid every week or every 4 weeks from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (5 April), unless your circumstances change.