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Parents of teens warned to take urgent action to retain Child Benefit worth up to £1,331

More than 1.4 million parents who have a teen about to turn 16 risk losing Child Benefit worth up to £1,331 a year unless they take action.

HMRC will be writing to warn the parents involved by July 17 and they will need to make sure they take action to ensure payments continue.

The letters will include a QR code which, when scanned, directs them straight to GOV.UK to update their claim quickly and easily online.

Child Benefit is worth up to £1,331 a year for the first or only child, and up to £881 a year for each additional child.

Payments will automatically stop on August 31 on or after the child has turned 16 unless parents renew their claim where their child is continuing in education, reports the Daily Record.

If their 16-19 year-old intends to continue in approved education or training, parents can use the online service on GOV.UK or the HMRC app so they do not miss out.

Child Benefit can continue to be paid for children who are studying full time in approved non-advanced education, which includes:

A levels or Scottish Highers

International Baccalaureate

Home education – if it started before their child turned 16, or after 16 if they have a statement of special educational needs and it was assessed by the local authority

T levels

NVQs, up to level 3

Child Benefit will also continue for children studying on one of these unpaid approved training courses:

Scotland: Employability Fund programme and No One Left Behind

Wales: Foundation Apprenticeships, Traineeships or the Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme

Northern Ireland: PEACEPLUS Youth Programme 3.2, Training for Success or Skills for Life and Work

If a child changes their mind about further education or training, parents can simply inform HMRC online or in the app and payments will be adjusted accordingly.

Eligibility for Child Benefit

Currently, if you and your partner each earn less than £60,000 a year, you can claim for the full amount of child benefit. This changed on April 6 from £50,000.

But if either of you earns more than this, you will have to pay some or all of the benefit back to the government in the form of the high-income Child Benefit charge (HICBC):

You pay back 1 percent of your Child Benefit for every £200 earned over £60,000. So at £70,000 you will need to pay back 50 percent of the payments.

Once you or your partner’s income hits £80,000, the charge wipes out all the Child Benefit.

The charge is paid through your self-assessment form. You can choose to claim the benefit and repay it via the charge, or register for it, but not claim it.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “Child Benefit is an important financial support for many families, so make sure you don’t miss out on any payments if your teenager intends to continue approved education or training.

“You can quickly and easily extend your claim online or via the HMRC app.”

HMRC said the quickest way to avoid payments stopping is to update the information online or on the official app. Anyone who does not receive a letter by July 17 can still extend their Child Benefit claim on GOV.UK or the HMRC app.

Parents will need a Government Gateway user ID and password to use HMRC’s online services. If they do not have one already, they can register on GOV.UK and will just need their National Insurance number or postcode, and two forms of ID.

More information can be found here.


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