If you are bringing up a child or children, you may be entitled to claim Child Benefit. This is a tax-free benefit payable to someone responsible for raising a child under the age of 16 (or 20, in some cases).
You can get (or continue to get) Child Benefit whilst you’re self-employed. There isn’t a limit on how much you can earn whilst receiving Child Benefit, but if you or your partner earn more than £50,000 per year then you may be required to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge, or you might receive less.
High Income Child Benefit Charge
You may be affected by the High Income Child Benefit Charge if you get Child Benefit and your total taxable income before any allowances is over the £50,000 annual threshold.
If you or your partner are in this category then the highest earner will be responsible for paying the tax charge (or you can opt out of receiving Child Benefit). You’ll need to pay the tax charge through your Self Assessment tax return if you decide to carry on receiving the benefit.
Will I receive National Insurance credits for Child Benefit?
Yes, if you claim Child Benefit then you will receive weekly credits for your National Insurance contributions. This will ensure that your entitlement to a State Pension isn’t affected.
How do I claim Child Benefit?
Only one person can claim for a child, so you may need to discuss this if there’s another person responsible for raising the child. The benefit can’t be split between parents or carers. It isn’t necessary to be the child’s parent and you may also be eligible to claim even if you don’t live with the child.
If you do submit a claim for Child Benefit and another person also makes a claim, HMRC will let you know that someone else has claimed. You can apply for Child Benefit using the online service within 48 hours of the child’s birth being registered or them coming to live with you.
You can normally claim Child Benefit for a child who is aged 16 or under, although you may still be able to claim for a child younger than 20 years old if they are in full time education, approved training, or non-advanced education.
Child Benefit is paid into a bank account, building society account or a card account from the Post Office. The benefit cannot be paid into the account of a child.
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About The Author
A fully AAT and ACCA qualified accountant, I support a wide range of businesses, from sole traders and partnerships to larger limited companies. Learn more about Lauren.