Martin Lewis explains who is eligible for Child Benefit
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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a reminder to parents and carers that they only have until 31 August 2021 to confirm whether their teenagers are staying in full-time education or training beyond 16. That’s because they will be eligible to continue receiving Child Benefit payments for their child, but only if they decide to stay in full-time education or begin a training course. However, if they decide to look for paid employment this is not the case. The reminder comes as many sixteen-year-olds will be making decisions about their future following their GSCE or Scottish National Certificate results last week.
Families receiving Child Benefit for their child in the last year of school should have received a letter from HMRC.
If their child is staying in education beyond age 16, parents or carers must send it back, or update their details online. They need to do this by the end of August or their Child Benefit will be stopped.
The easiest and quickest way to let HMRC know whether your child or children are staying in education is to visit GOV.UK where you can update details online.
Alternatively, parents or carers can return the 297b form sent to them by HMRC.
Who qualifies for Child Benefit?
Child Benefit is paid to eligible parents or carers who are responsible for a child under 16, or under 20 if they are in full-time non-advanced education or approved training.
Parents or carers receiving Child Benefit and who also have an income over £50,000 may have to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge via an annual Self Assessment tax return.
This is also true if they earn less than this amount but their partner earns more.
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HMRC is also reminding people that as Post Office card accounts are closing, it will stop making payments of Child Benefit, Guardians Allowance and tax credits into these accounts from 30 November 2021.
Any Child Benefit and tax credits customers who use this account to receive their payments, will need to notify HMRC of their new bank, building society or credit union account details.
HMRC is encouraging customers to act now so they do not miss any payments once their Post Office account closes.
They are being advised to contact the helpline on 0345 300 3900 or use their Personal Tax Account.
Meanwhile, there are concerns that millions of people will be pushed into poverty if the Government’s proposed changes to Universal Credit go ahead next month.
Almost half (47 percent) of Universal Credit claimants in the UK are questioning how they are going to provide for their families if the £20 uplift to the benefit scheme is scrapped.
Save the Children said this amounts to three million claimants across the country, with 18 percent of those polled admitting that they do not know if they will be able to cope with the cut.
Single parents were found to be most concerned in the survey, with over half (52 percent) saying they will not be able to live on £20 less a week.
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the Government would raise Universal Credit payments by £20 a week to help those struggling financially in April 2020.
However, during his Budget announcement earlier this year, Mr Sunak announced it would be coming to an end in September.
Campaigning charities like Save the Children are urging him to reconsider to prevent families from falling deeper into debt.
Those who are struggling will not want to risk losing out on much needed cash by missing the Child Benefit deadline if their teenager is continuing thier education.
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