10% off Self Assessment this July. Just 169 £152.

Limited time only. T&Cs apply.  Learn more

10% off Self Assessment this July. Just <s>169</s> £152.

Bye-bye High Income Child Benefit tax charge

  • 3 min read
  • 4 Sep 2023

Filing a tax return can be a real inconvenience. But what’s worse is having to file one to pay back your child benefit! 

The High Income Child Benefit charge has left many of you understandably confused.

It’s paid automatically, but you’re not necessarily entitled to it in full – bizarre, right? 

Luckily, we have some good news. The confusing High Income Child Benefit tax charge is changing – woohoo!  🎉

💡 As of 6th April 2024, the High Income Child Benefit Charge threshold has changed.

You now lose your eligibility between £60,000 – £80,000 income, instead of £50,000 – £60,000.

Any earnings over £80,000 make you ineligible to claim child benefit.

What is Child Benefit and how does it work?

Child Benefit is a tax-free payment paid by the government to parents or anyone responsible for raising a child. 👏

You’re eligible to claim the payment if the child you raise is:

  • 👶Under 16 and in education/training
  • 🎓Under 18 and in education/training
  • 💰You earn under £60,000

But remember:

  • Only one adult in your household can claim Child Benefit for your child
  • There’s no limit on how many children you can claim for

How much Child Benefit will I receive?

In the 2023/24 tax year, you can claim:

  • £25.50 a week for your first child
  • £16.95 a week for each of your other children

Who said there was no such thing as a favourite child? 🤭

You can also get National Insurance (NI) credits to help fill in gaps in your National Insurance record.

This helps to ensure you qualify for certain benefits including your State Pension – winner-winner. 🤑

If you receive Child Benefit, then your child will also receive an NI number without having to apply, shortly before they turn 16.

Claiming your Child Benefit

You can contact HMRC to talk about, change or continue claiming your Child Benefit. The most common way is by post. 

To claim your Child Benefit, fill in this form and send it to HMRC’s dedicated office.📮

Here’s the address:

HM Revenue and Customs — Child Benefit Office

PO Box 1

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE88 1AA

United Kingdom

What is the High Income Child Benefit tax charge?

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICB) will apply to you if you earn an income over £50,000.

If you, or your partner, receive an income over this and have been claiming Child Benefit then you’ll have to pay a charge. 😥

How does it work?

The tax charge increases gradually for taxpayers with incomes between £60,000 and £80,000 (as of 2024/25). But, the amount you’ll pay depends on your adjusted net income. 🥅

Your adjusted net income is your total taxable income. This might include your salary, rental income, or money you’ve earned from a side hustle. 

It does not include things such as your trading losses (for the self-employed), pension contributions, Gift Aid, or charitable donations. 🏠

But, of course, nothing’s ever that simple. 

Your Personal Allowance is also included (*audible gasp*).

Yep, that’s right, the first £12,570 of your income, that’s tax-free, is included in your adjusted net income – weird, right? 🤯

How much Child Benefit do you have to pay back?

If you or your partner are earning over £60,000, you’ll have pay a portion of your Child Benefit back to HMRC.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works:

High income child benefit charge

Don’t panic! You can use our handy Child Benefit calculator to figure out just how much tax you’ll actually have to pay.

Your situation

Outlined number oneImage of an arrow
How many children do you have?
How much do you earn?
If you have a partner, how much do they earn?
Have you already registered for child benefit?

Tax and profit

Outlined number two
  • Child benefit you have
    already received
  • Tax to pay
  • Child benefit you
    were entitled to

How your child benefit is calculated

The child benefit is simply a payment that the UK government can give to any parent who has children under the age of 16.

How much you get depends on:

  • how many children you have
  • and how much you earn: if you earn over £60,000 this benefit is reduced.

Child benefit breakdown

You have 1 child

You get £25.60 per week for your child.

In total that’s £1,331 per year.

How is the Child Benefit tax charge changing? 

If you’re someone who pays the High Income Child Benefit charge, plans are being set out so that you’ll no longer have to register for Self Assessment – hooray! 

Instead, you’ll be able to pay the charge through your PAYE tax code, making things a lot less confusing! 

You’ll also no longer have to worry about HMRC fining you for late payments.  

It’s been a whopping ten years since the charge was first introduced, so we think that we can all agree that it was about time things changed! 👏

What If I opt out of receiving Child Benefit?

According to The Guardian, as of August 2020, “more than 620,000 families had opted out of receiving Child Benefit to avoid being charged”. 👋

If like these families, you also want to opt out of receiving Child Benefit, there’s a few things to know first!

Even if you want to opt out, you should still fill in the Child Benefit claim form. You need to state on the form that you don’t want to receive payments.📝

There are a few reasons why you’d still want to claim and pay back your Child Benefit.

You’ll still need to fill in the claim form if you want to:

  • Get National Insurance credits, which count towards your State Pension
  • Get your child a National Insurance number without them having to apply for one – they’ll usually get it before they turn 16 years old 🎂
  • Protect your Child Benefit payments in case your income ever drops under £50,270 (because of unemployment, etc.)
TaxScouts Newsletter

Want regular tips from us?

Sign up for important updates, deadline reminders and basic tax hacks sent straight to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.