Taxpayers in receipt of child benefit and child tax credits payments should be aware that HMRC can stop making payments on the 31 August following a child’s 16th Birthday.
HMRC has issued a press release reminding parents to inform them if any of their children are aged over 16 and continuing in full-time education or are undertaking an apprenticeship. Where this is the case, the child benefit and child tax credits payments can continue until a qualifying child reaches their 20th birthday. To claim until the age of 20, the young person must have started or enrolled in a course of further education by their 19th birthday.
If your child benefit and / or child tax credits payments have been stopped and your child is continuing with eligible education or approved training you need to let HMRC know. This update process needs to be repeated annually as your children turn 17, 18 and 19 years old and remain qualifying. This can be done using the parents' personal tax account which gives taxpayers the opportunity to manage some of their tax affairs online.
HMRC should also be informed if a young person leaves education or training. This will prevent the build-up of overpayments that will have to be repaid to HMRC. There are penalties for failing to report a change in circumstances to HMRC. In some circumstances, claimants can even be prosecuted for benefit fraud if they deliberately make a claim for benefits to which they were not entitled.