What 31 August means for Child Tax Credit (“CTC”) and Child Benefit

On 31 August, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (“CTC”) will cease for children, aged 16 at that date, who have left approved* education or training. However if they continue in approved training/education then these benefits may continue but only if the parent or claimant has told HMRC’s Child Benefit Office and/or Tax Credit Office (note that parents/claimants must notify *both* departments if they are claiming both of the benefits).

* “Approved education” means that the child remains in full-time, ‘non-advanced’ education at school/college (e.g. ‘A’ Levels).
“Approved training” means that the child is participating in, has enrolled in, or been accepted for one of the following types of course prior to reaching 19 years old:

  • Higher education (e.g. a university-level course);
  • Education which is employer-provided;
  • Training which is part of a job contract;
  • Education which is provided through an office the child holds (e.g. they have an official role like that of a councillor or scout leader — and the education is being provided as an integral part of that role).

Other scenarios will complicate matters, for example if the child later leaves the approved education or training course, however there are HMRC rules in place to cover such scenarios and, in this particular case, the rules applicable partly depend upon the age at which the child leaves the course(s) concerned. A guide to these rules can be found on the HMRC site here or of course you can contact our tax advisors at Taxfile, South London, and we would be very happy to help clarify things for you, or to tidy up your tax situation if required (Click the link or telephone: 020 8761 8000).