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How to Qualify for a Working Tax Credit


Be a UK resident. Under certain circumstances, you can claim working tax credit even as a non-resident. For example, if you are a Crown Servant stationed abroad, if you are from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) and work in the UK, if you are from an EEA country and receive a UK state pension, or if you have received asylum in the UK.


Be 16 years of age or older to qualify for working tax credit.


Be gainfully employed. You can apply for working tax credit between jobs, so long as you start your new job within seven days of making your claim. You can receive working tax credit when you are on maternity or sick leave.


Work at least 16 hours or longer a week, and for at least four weeks. For couples, where each partner works for 16 hours or more a week, only one person can claim working tax credit.


Qualify for working tax credit if your yearly earnings fall in HMRC's specified low income bracket. HMRC annually assesses your income for tax credits.


Have at least one child, pay for child care or be actively responsible for caring for at least one child to receive the childcare element of working tax credit.


Claim working tax credit if you are 50 and above and are returning to work after taking out-of-work benefits like income support allowance, incapacity benefits, severe disablement allowance and state pension credit for at least six months.


Receive the disabled element of working tax credit if you have a disability, or if your child or partner is disabled.

Tips and Warnings

  • Contact the tax credit helpline for your working tax credit application pack. You can also get it from HMRC, local benefits office and Jobcentre Plus office.
  • Get advice from your nearest Citizens Advise Bureau (CAB), if you are unsure about whether you qualify for working tax credit.
  • You cannot claim working tax credit if you are not employed.
  • To avoid receiving overpayment or underpayment of working tax credit, you must contact HMRC to report any changes in your financial circumstances.
  • If you receive an overpayment, you must pay it back to HMRC.

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