What is the high income child benefit charge?

Child benefit is simply a tax-free payment that the government gives to parents:

  • £20.30 a week for your eldest child
  • and £13.40 a week for each of your other children.

All parents with children under 16 (sometimes 20) can claim, but if one of the parents earns over £50,000 you’ll need to pay some or this benefit back.

This is called the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC).

How much do I have to pay back?

It depends on how much you earn, but basically if either of you earns over £60,000 you’ll need to pay back the entire amount.

Use this child benefit charge calculator to see how much you’re entitled to, and if you need to pay any of it back.

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?
Select tax year
Child benefit you have already received
£1,076.40
Child benefit you were entitled to
£1,076.40
Tax to pay
£0.00
You don’t need to do anything.

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 £50,000 this benefit is reduced.

Child benefit breakdown

You have 1 child

You get £20.70 per week for your child.

In total that’s £1,076.40 per year.

Who needs to file the tax return and pay?

Whoever has the higher income: either you or your partner.

It doesn’t matter who actually received the Child Benefit in their bank account.

You’ll need to:

Should I still claim Child Benefit if I have to pay it back?

In short, yes.

The advantages of claiming Child Benefit:

  • you get National Insurance credits – which count towards your state pension (very important if you’re on a low income)
  • your child will also receive a National Insurance number right before they turn 16 – they won’t need to apply for one themselves
  • your Child Benefit payments are “protected” in case your income ever drops under £50,000 (because of unemployment, etc.)

What you can do:

  • carry on getting Child Benefit and pay any tax charge at the end of each tax year,
  • or stop getting Child Benefit entirely – here is how you do it,
  • or (the best option), still fill in the Child Benefit claim form but choose to not get the Child Benefit payments.

With the third option you get all the benefits but you don’t need to worry about filing a tax return or paying tax.

You can also restart your child benefit if you’ve stopped it.

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