Tax credits Child tax credits

Parent with 2 children

You don't have to be working to claim child tax credit

You can claim child tax credits if you are responsible for at least one child or young person. You don't have to be working to claim. Child tax credits will be paid for:

  • a child until 1 September following their 16th birthday
  • a young person aged from 16 but under 20 in full-time education up to and including 'A' levels, NVQ level 3 or Scottish Highers or who is in approved, unwaged training
  • a young person aged 16 or 17 who has left full-time non-advanced education or training but who does not have a job or a training place and has registered with the Careers Service or Connexions Service, is not claiming income support, incapacity benefit, employment support allowance or tax credits in his or her own right and is not in full-time work of 24 hours or more a week

Child tax credits: How much will you get?

Tax credits are made up of a number of different 'elements' or payments. You may be eligible for just one element or for a few different elements, depending on your family circumstances.

When you put in your tax credits claim, the tax credit office will first work out the maximum amount of tax credits you are eligible for based on your family circumstances and then whether any amount of your tax credits award needs to be reduced because of your income. The higher your income, the less tax credits you are likely to get.

Tax Credits are due to be replaced by Universal Credit. Transitional arrangements will apply. Full details have yet to be announced.

Elements of child tax credits

Below are the different child tax credit elements and how much each element is worth in 2016-17:

Child tax credit
Child Tax Credit elementsMaximum amount paid for 2016 - 17
Family element – the basic element for families responsible for one or more children£545
Extra Family element paid to families with one or more children under the age of one. Only one payment is made even if you have more than one child under oneN/A
Child element - one for each child or young person you are responsible for£2,780
Disability element - one for each child you are responsible for if you are receiving Disability Living Allowance for the child, or the child is registered blind or has been taken off the blind register in the 28 weeks before the date of claim£3,140
Severe disability element - one for each child you are responsible for if you receive the Highest Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance for the child£1,275

Child tax credits: What you might get?

The table below shows how much child tax credit you might receive for the tax year 2015/16 if you cannot get working tax credit.

Child tax credit 2016-17
Household incomeOne ChildTwo ChildrenThree Children
Less than £5,000£3,330£6,110£8,890

If you have a child under one or with a disability or you are entitled to working tax credit as well,  then you may receive more.

More on this...

Last updated:

April 2016

Updated by:

Joe Elvin

Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.