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
    John Wednesday, 16 May 2018


    Hi we currently get working tax credits as we only earn £400 a month. We have won over £10000 which is going to buy a house and leave no money from the winnings. Are we still entitled to working tax credits?

  • Guest
    Craig Thursday, 15 March 2018

    Tax Credits

    If my partner and i claim for tax credits, will the amount i pay in maintenance to my ex and children each month from my salary be considered when the entitlement is calculated? I ask because on the website calculator this is not one of the criteria. My current partner has her own son, and i have a son and daughter, who stay with us at weekends, from my past relationship.

  • Guest
    Fanta Friday, 02 March 2018


    I'm family of EU but my husband left me with my three kids how can I apply for benefit .?and I'm allowed to apply for child tax credit?

  • Guest
    Mehdi Kahoul Monday, 29 January 2018

    child tax credit

    Are we entitled to child taxi credit? i work full time £30000 a year and my wife doest work ?

    we recently have a baby?

  • Guest
    Adam Saturday, 30 December 2017

    Joint custody

    hi how's the situation with child tax credit looks like with like in my case when me and my partner split up and I'm renting from Private landlord one bedroom flat and my system of working is four 12 hours shifts in 4 on and 4 off system
    And we both agreed for joined custody and we will be taking care of oure child for 4 days each equally?

  • Guest
    Rob Wednesday, 06 December 2017

    Is tax credit linked to school admission applications?

    Hi my ex wife and I are separated and share custody on our 3 year old 50:50. She claims all of the tax credit which is fine. We are about to apply for a school place for our soon and agree to he best school is nearer my address. If we register him as living at my address will she lose her tax credits?

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