Overview

You could get Working Tax Credit if:

  • you’re aged 16 or over
  • you work a certain number of hours a week
  • you get paid for the work you do (or expect to)
  • your income is below a certain level

The basic amount of Working Tax Credit is up to £1,920 a year – you could get more (or less) depending on your circumstances and income.

Use the tax credit calculator to work out how much you could get.

You can apply for Working Tax Credits even if you don’t have children or you’re on leave or about to start a new job.

Eligibility

Eligibility depends on your age and how many hours of paid work you do a week. Your income and circumstances will also affect how much you get.

Use the tax credit questionnaire to check if you qualify.

Your age

You must be 16 or over to qualify.

Hours you work

You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify.

Circumstance Hours a week
25 or over At least 30 hours
16 or over and disabled At least 16 hours
60 or over At least 16 hours
Single with 1 or more children At least 16 hours
Couple with 1 or more children Usually, at least 24 hours* (with 1 of you working at least 16 hours)
  • There are exceptions to the 24 hour rule, use the tax credit calculator to check if you work the right number of hours.

A child should be under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training).

You can apply for Working Tax Credits if you’re on leave or about to start a new job in the next 7 days.

Your pay

The work must last at least 4 weeks and must be paid. This can include payment in kind (eg farm produce for a farm labourer) or where you expect to be paid for the work.

Exceptions

The following doesn’t qualify as paid work:

  • money from a ‘Rent a Room’ scheme
  • money paid for work done while in prison
  • money paid to you as part of an Employment Zone Programme

Your income

There’s no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, £18,000 for a couple without children or £13,000 for a single person without children – but it can be higher if you have children, pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled.

What You Could Get

You get a basic amount and extra (known as ‘elements’) on top of this.

How much you get depends on things like your circumstances and income.

The basic amount is up to £1,920 a year.

Element Amount
You’re a couple applying together Up to £1,950 a year
You’re a single parent Up to £1,950 a year
You work at least 30 hours week Up to £790 a year
You have a disability Up to £2,790 a year
You have a severe disability Up to £1,190 a year (on top of the disability payment)
You pay for approved childcare Up to £122.50 (1 child) or £210 (2 or more children) a week

How you’re paid

Money is paid directly into your bank or building society account, every week or 4 weeks.

If you’re a couple, you must choose one account.

Usually, you’re paid from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (5 April).

If your circumstances change

Your tax credits you get can go up or down if your family or work life change – you must report these changes to the Tax Credit Office. For example, you start a new job, go on maternity leave or you’re laid off work.

How to Claim

If you’re new to tax credits, contact the Tax Credit Helpline for a claim form. It takes up to 2 weeks to arrive.

If you’re already claiming tax credits you don’t need a claim form – just call the helpline to update your claim.

Tax Credit Helpline

Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Textphone: 0345 300 3909
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm

What you need to know

You can claim at any time of the year and up to 7 days before starting a new job.

You apply for Child and Working Tax Credits on the same claim form.

You have to renew your claim once a year.

To support your claim, keep records about your income, bills, payslips, benefits, tax credits, child care and your child’s education.