Working Tax Credits
Working tax credits are a form of tax relief, provided by the government. It is given to those who are on especially low income. It is one of two types of tax credits available, the other being the child tax credit. You must be working in order to receive the working tax credit, and specifically, that work must be paid. The amount you receive from the tax credit depends on how many children you have, your age, whether or not you live with your partner, disabilities and salary. As of 2011, the maximum tax credit available was £2,650 per tax year. The specific amount you may claim may be worked out using the tax credit calculator on the HM Revenue and Customs website. The maximum salary requirement is not the same for everyone.
In order to receive the working tax credit, you must satisfy one of a range of conditions. If you are 25 or over, you should be working at least 30 hours a week. If you are over 16 but under the age of 25, you must be working at least 16 hours a week. Alternatively, if you are over the age of 50, you must work at least 16 hours a week and returning to work after receiving unemployment benefits. If you are 60 or over, you can receive the tax credit if you work at least 16 hours a week, but you do not have to be returning to work after unemployment.
You must receive taxable wages in order to receive the working tax credit. You may also be self-employed, but you must be registered as such with HM Revenue and Customs. Any paid work should be at least four weeks in duration. However, there are exceptions. If you are a student and you are working part time to support yourself, you cannot receive the tax credit. Any training allowances do not count, and you cannot receive the benefit if you are employed but are on strike
Applying for the Tax Credit
If you wish to claim a working tax credit, you may apply any time of the year if you believe you are eligible. When you make a claim, tax credit will be applied from the date of application until the end of the tax year, which is usually at the beginning of April. You may backdate your claim by three months. A claim must be made by filling out the claim form, available from either the HM Customs and Revenue website or from one of their local offices. You will need your national insurance number, your P60, plus any other financial information, such as income, tax or unemployment statements.