Working tax credits in the UK represent a scheme whereby the government affords financial assistance to those who are working but are on a low level of income. They are available both to those in employment and to the self-employed. There are a number of conditions attached to eligibility for working tax credits and it is therefore necessary for an individual to verify that they meet the stipulated criteria prior to submitting a claim.
The absolute minimum qualifying conditions for applying for working tax credits is that an individual be at least sixteen years old and working for a minimum of sixteen hours per week. Those who meet these minimum criteria and are either mainly responsible for at least one child, or who have a registered disability, may be eligible to receive working tax credits. Otherwise, eligibility for working tax credits requires being over the age of twenty-five and working more than thirty hours per week, or being over the age of fifty and having recently resumed work following a period of a minimum of six months’ unemployment.
At this time, there is no other way to claim tax credits than by completing a manual claim form and submitting it by post. A claim form can only be requested by calling the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900, who will then post it out to you. When you call the helpline, you will be asked for certain information to confirm your eligibility, relating to your income. Essentially, this will be details of all the income you received for the previous tax year, which runs from the 6th April each year to the 5th April the following year. It is important to note that income to be included does not only relate to that received from any period of employment or self-employment. It will also have to include details of any state benefits received during this time and even interest that was paid on any savings.
When you receive your working tax credits claim form there will be included detailed notes to guide you through its completion. Should you experience any difficulties and are already in receipt of other benefits, your Jobcentre Plus office will be able to offer help. Failing that, calling the Tax Credit Helpline from which the form was requested in the first instance will bring assistance. The form should then be posted back to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the success or otherwise of your claim will be advised in due course.