PARENTS across the UK are being urged to take action as the deadline for changes to child benefit payments approaches. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has implemented new rules that will impact parents with children of a certain age who are either leaving education or training or have already done so.
According to the HMRC website, parents of children aged 16 who have left or are due to leave education this summer will receive child benefit payments until the first of four specified dates after the child turns 16. The upcoming date to keep in mind is August 31.
It is crucial for parents to update their circumstances in a timely manner to avoid any disruptions to their child benefit payments. Failure to do so may lead to delayed or altered payments. To avoid such issues, parents must inform HMRC if their child continues in full-time education or training, or if they are joining the armed forces or a government-sponsored careers program.
Child benefit payments are currently £24 per week for the eldest or only child and £15.90 per week for additional children. These payments are made every four weeks in arrears, either on a Monday or Tuesday, and there is no limit to the number of children a parent or guardian can claim for.
Certain changes in circumstances can result in reduced or discontinued child benefit payments. These changes include a partner’s earnings exceeding £50,000, which incurs a child benefit tax charge, and a partner’s separation or divorce, where only one parent will receive the benefit.
Changes in living arrangements, such as moving house or going abroad, can also affect child benefit eligibility. It is essential to notify HMRC of any changes in the child’s circumstances, such as turning 16 or 20 while in education or training, leaving education or training, working more than 24 hours per week, getting married or forming a civil partnership, going missing or passing away, living away from the parent for more than eight weeks, moving in with a partner on a permanent basis, leaving the country for more than 12 weeks (unless part of school education or medical treatment), or being imprisoned for more than eight weeks.
Parents are advised to act promptly and inform HMRC of any relevant changes, as these updates can impact the amount of child benefit they are entitled to, and in some cases, result in increased payments.
As the August 31 deadline approaches, it is crucial for all parents to review their child benefit status and ensure they have updated their details with HMRC. Failure to do so could lead to unnecessary disruptions and potential financial losses.