A common symptom of fatherhood is the regular flashing of pound signs in front of your eyes. Children don’t come cheap – but the good news is, you will get some help from the Government. Here’s what they offer…
Regardless of parental earnings, every child receives Child Benefit until the age of 16 (or older, if they’re still studying for A-levels or equivalent or in an approved training programme).
You’ll get £20.70 per week for your eldest child and £13.70 per week for each subsequent one, paid four-weekly into a bank or building society account or as a cheque to cash at the Post Office. Child Benefit can be paid to either parent or into a joint account, but if you live separately it is normally claimed by the resident parent.
Depending on your circumstances, being a parent may also boost your finances thanks to Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit – allowances which can reduce your annual tax bill if you work and have children. Factors that affect how much these credits could give you include the number of children you have; whether they have disabilities, whether or not you and the child’s mother live together, the hours you each work, and your incomes.
A Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a long-term tax-free savings account for children. All children eligible for a CTF account should now have them. If your child was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 and eligible for Child Benefit, you should have received a Child Trust Fund voucher from the Government.
The CTF voucher was an amount of money that the Government gave eligible children and could only have been used to open a Child Trust Fund account. New accounts cannot be created but existing accounts can receive new money. They have been replaced by a Junior ISA.