Child Tax Credit

Have you been wondering if your family is entitled to any financial support, but finding it tricky to work it all out? You are not alone! Tax Credits are fiendishly complicated, in fact, they're so complex, it’s estimated that although nine out of ten families with children qualify, only 80 per cent of those eligible actually apply for them!



Don’t worry, Dad Info is here to make things clear and simple, making sure that you don’t miss out on the support you are entitled to receive.

 So here's our guide to Child Tax Credit…

Who is eligible?

 If you have a child who you are responsible for, you may be eligible for Child Tax Credits, including if you are not working.

You can claim if your child is:

  • aged 16 and under, up to 31 August after their 16th birthday
  • aged under 19, or under 20 in certain circumstances, if they're still in full time education.

How much you can get will depend on your income and the number of children you have:

  • the more you earn, the less you will receive.
  • If your child was born after 6th April 2017, you won’t be entitled to the family element of child tax credit, nor will you be able to claim any additional tax credits for more than two children. 

What if I'm separated?

The Government will only give the Child Tax Credit to one parent - the person deemed as having the main responsibility for the child. This can feel unfair as in many separated families, it's true that there may not be a 'main carer' anymore, and yes, even if you look after the children 3.49 days a week and the child's mother has them 3.51 days a week, she is classified as the main carer and will receive 100% of the child tax credit.

Contact the Tax Credit Helpline (contact details below) if you’re not sure you are responsible for the child.

If you do share responsibility for a child, and you can’t agree who should claim, you can both apply and the Tax Credit Office will make the decision. In reality, if there is a dispute about who should receive the tax credit, it will generally go to whoever receives the Child Benefit. 

How much is it worth?

Child Tax Credit is made up of two elements: Family and Child.

The family element is paid to all families who have at least one child who was born before 6th April 2017, and is worth up to £545 a year.

The child element is paid for each child and is worth up to a maximum of £2780 a year. If your first child was born after 6th April 2017, you will only be able to claim Child tax Credits for up to two children.

If you have children who were born before 6th April 2017, you can claim Child Tax Credits for all of them. However, if you have more than two children, you will not be able to claim additional tax credits for any additional children born after the 6th April 2017. 

How is it paid?

Tax Credits are paid directly into the bank account of the main carer for all the child/children. 

How do I claim?

You can claim Child Tax Credit by completing a claim form – to get one of these you will need to apply, either online or on the phone.

You can do this online at or calling the Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

You’ll need your National Insurance Number (which you can get from your employer if you've forgotten it) and an idea of your earnings for the last financial, and this financial year.


Updated: September 2017

Hide comments (57)


  • Guest
    emmanuel Saturday, 24 September 2016


    Hi ,CAN EU claim child tax credit

  • Guest
    martin Monday, 03 October 2016

    mr else

    Hi. Me and my partner live together with our 5 month old son. She's on maternity leave from her 12 hour a week job. I work full time. We have had our tax credits letter back. According to it we are not entitled to working tax credits or child tax credit. I didn't expect to get wtc but I thought that every family can get ctc

  • Guest
    Mo Tuesday, 04 October 2016

    Tax Credits

    Separated with two children can each parent claim for a child each when both parents a sharing care?

  • Guest
    Daniel Sunday, 09 October 2016


    Me and my partner are separated I work full time I'll be having the kids at weekends am I still entitled to working tax

  • Guest
    matt Monday, 10 October 2016


    I'm a carer I get carers allowance and income support can I claim tax credit's

  • Guest
    Jasim Monday, 17 October 2016

    Child started working part time

    A child is in full time education, he lives with his mum who is not working and receiving benefit; ESA, Housing benefit, child benefit, child tax credit. The child has also started doing 16 hours employement at night sheft. would the child's income from his job will affect the benefit entitlement?


  • Guest
    US Mom/Wife to UK Citizen Thursday, 27 October 2016

    Can the UK Spouse(sponsor) claim ChildTax Benefit of his US step-son (US wife, under 5 years)?

    My husband is a UK Citizen (Scotland). Can he claim the child tax benefit of my child, a 15year oldUS Citizen who is living with us and is under the family settlement visa? We are only in our 1st 12 months of living in Scotland. Thank you.

  • Guest
    Andrea Glynn Friday, 04 November 2016

    Can I let ex have tax credits

    i earn too much to receive tax credits for my children. My ex has them 2 nights a week so I am classed as the main carer. As he earns a lot less than me can he claim the tax credits? I'm happy for him to do so even though I am the main carer as he will have money he can spend on our children. Just want to check we aren't breaking any laws as I wouldn't want him to have to pay it all back a few years down the line. Any advice? Thanks

  • Guest
    Jason ridden Friday, 16 December 2016


    Hi I have been divorced for over a year now I was just wondering if I could get some of the child tax credits from my ex as she left me in a lot of debt and I am disabled and find it hard to find work and I have my son 3 out of 4 weekends and I really struggle with everything she does not use the money for a child care she gets her friends to look after.him while she is at work and it really upsets me I was just wondering what I could do. And if you could help



  • Guest
    manuela Wednesday, 21 December 2016

    misis Manuela

    hello ! at the moment I m the entitle of the child tax credit for my son as I been working on 2015/16, but because I didn't work anymore on 2016 /17 can we claim the child tax credit and the working tax credit under the name of my partner that is my son step father, living with us and providing to us all we need ?

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