HMRC 'taking away' Child Benefit because of people's 'work benefits'

Work benefits that could make parents ineligible for Child Benefit from HMRC have been revealed. You can claim Child Benefit if you're 'responsible for the child' or the child is under 16 years old - or under 20 years old and still in education or training.

HMRC will pay mums and dads more than £17,000 over the first 16 years of their child’s life if a parent’s income falls below the current £80,000 cap. But that figure includes the value of some work benefits, partner at Blick Rothenberg, Robert Salter, warned.

A claimant told This is Money: "I started claiming child benefit a few years after the old £50,000 cap was introduced. I had been earning below the cap and my wife was earning around £5,000 part-time while she juggled the kids. I received a letter advising I was not eligible for child benefit due to my net income being over £50,000 after pension and benefits in kind values - my company car, fuel and private medical - were factored in.

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"I was not aware my car and fuel benefit counted towards my calculated income. At the time my income was below £50,000 but the benefit in kind values pushed me above. I may be eligible to claim again now the threshold is £60,000, but my work benefits have changed. What else is included as income for these purposes?"

Mr Salter said: "The income sources which you would need to consider when looking at adjusted gross income for child benefit purposes are: your gross salary, other employment income, taxable benefits provided by your employer, pensions income and self-employment profits as well as investment income.

"Items which would then be allowable as a deduction include pension contributions, gift aid subscriptions, tax deductible business expenses and also cycle to work scheme costs."