HMRC issues warning to parents of teens who are about to turn 16

Mother and teenage daughter
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More than 1.4 million parents with a teenager about to turn 16 could lose Child Benefit worth up to £1,331 annually unless they take action. HMRC will send out warnings to the affected parents by July 17, urging them to act to ensure the continuation of payments.

These letters will contain a QR code that, when scanned, will direct them straight to GOV. UK to swiftly and easily update their claim online. Child Benefit is valued at up to £1,331 per year for the first or only child, and up to £881 annually for each additional child.

Payments will automatically cease on August 31 on or after the child has turned 16 unless parents renew their claim where their child is continuing in education. If their 16 to 19-year-old plans to continue in approved education or training, parents can use the online service on GOV. UK or the HMRC app to avoid missing out, reports the Daily Record.

Child Benefit can still 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. In Wales, options include Foundation Apprenticeships, Traineeships or the Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme. In Northern Ireland, there's the 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. 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 per cent 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 has advised that the fastest way to prevent payments from stopping is to update the information online or via the official app. Even if a letter is not received by July 17, Child Benefit claims can still be extended on GOV.

To use HMRC's online services, parents will require a Government Gateway user ID and password. If they don't already have one, they can register on GOV using their National Insurance number or postcode, along with two forms of ID.