HMRC in final warning to child benefit claimants

Taxpayers with income over £60,000 whose family is still receiving Child Benefit must opt-out before March 28th or fill in a tax return to repay the entitlement for the 2013-14 tax year, HM Revenue & Customs warned yesterday.

According to the department, more than 370,000 people have now opted out of child benefit since the High Income Child Benefit Charge came into force on January 7th, at which time around 200,000 people had opted out.

But those parents who continued to receive Child Benefit after January now need to register for Self-Assessment by October 5th 2013, to repay the benefit received between January and April 2013, following chancellor George Osborne’s announced claw-back.

The Revenue said that opting out from receiving Child Benefit payments can be a ‘one-off’, in that the decision to stay in the system or withdraw from it is not final as “families are free to change their minds.”

However, HMRC officials also said that opting out now means that individuals will not need to fill in a tax return in future years.

They added: “Anyone earning over £50,000 who has received Child Benefit since January 7th 2013 will need to register for Self-Assessment and complete a tax return for that period, regardless of whether they are now opting out.”

Under the system, HMRC customers with income between £50,000 and £60,000 may wish to keep getting Child Benefit payments as the tax charge will be less than the benefit received, whereas the tax charge for those on incomes of £60,000 will be equal to the amount of benefit.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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