Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit is money provided to boost the income of working people who are on a low income.

if you work and you’re on a low income. If you’re eligible, you can get it if you’re employed or self-employed.

You will get a basic element plus extra elements, depending on your circumstances, such as having a disability, or paying for childcare. You can’t claim Working Tax Credit if you already get Universal Credit.

To get Working Tax Credit, you and/or your partner must work full time, though this means a different number of hours per week for different people:

  • If you are single and responsible for a child, you have to be 16 or over and you must work at least 16 hours a week.
  • If you are a couple and responsible for a child, you must be 16 and over, and you work at least 16 hours a week and your partner counts as incapacitated for the purposes of the childcare element, is entitled to Carer’s Allowance, is in hospital or is in prison.
  • If you are a couple and responsible for a child you must be 16 or over and you must work at least 24 hours a week between you (with one working at least 16 hours).
  • If you qualify for the disability element of Working Tax Credit you must be 16 or over and you must work at least 16 hours a week.
  • If you are 60 or over, you must work at least 16 hours a week.
  • Otherwise, you must be 25 or over and work at least 30 hours a week.

How much will I get?

The basic amount is up to £1,960 a year. However You can get a basic amount and extra (known as ‘elements’) that you can see below.

How much you get depends on things like your circumstances and income like:

  • Your income
  • How many hours you work
  • Whether you have a disability
  • Whether you have children
  • Whether you pay for childcare


Element Amount
You’re a couple applying together Up to £2,010 a year
You’re a single parent Up to £2,010 a year
You work at least 30 hours a week Up to £810 a year
You have a disability Up to £3,000 a year
You have a severe disability Up to £1,290 a year (usually on top of the disability payment)
You pay for approved child Up to £122.50 (1 child) or £210 (2 or more children) a week


How to Claim

If you’re new to tax credits you’ll need to order a claim form.

You don’t need a claim form to tell the Tax Credit Office about a change in your circumstances.

It can take up to 2 weeks for the claim form to arrive and up to 5 weeks to process a new claim.

When to Claim

You can claim after starting a new job, at any time of the year.

If you’re on benefits (for example Job Seeker’s Allowance or Income Support) you can usually start claiming 7 days before you start a new job.

How You’re Paid

Money is paid directly into your bank or building society account, every week or 4 weeks.

You must choose one account if you’re a couple.

Usually, you’re paid from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (5 April).

If your circumstances change Your tax credits can go up or down if your family or work life change if you start a new job, you’re laid off work or your partner dies.

When HMRC first get your claim, they make what is called an initial decision. This is based on the information you have given on your claim form.

During the year, your award may change if you tell HMRC about a change of circumstances or a change in income. This is called an amended award.

After the tax year ends, HMRC will send you a ‘renewals’ pack. This does two things. It finalises the year that has just ended and acts as your claim for the new tax year. HMRC may ask you to confirm your income and circumstances for the year that has just finished and will send you a final decision on your claim.