What is the Christmas Bonus tax-free payment? 

  • 3 min read
  • Last updated 12 Dec 2023

On the first day of Christmas… HMRC said, make it rein – with money 🦌

Okay, so those weren’t their exact words (call it selective hearing), but it’s not far from the truth! 

They actually said, “we’re giving a tax-free £10 payment before Christmas 🧑‍🎄”. Again, probably not word for word. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t a tale like A Christmas Carol, where HMRC, the main character, receives a personality transplant, like Ebenezer Scrooge.

No, HMRC’s gratuitous Christmas bonus tax-free payment has concrete limits 🫠

So, let’s unwrap what they are… 

What is the bonus?

Exactly what it says on the tin! 

It’s a £10 tax-free bonus from HMRC for Christmas. It may not be much, but it makes a difference. It’s usually made in the first full week of December, so keep your eyes peeled if you qualify. 

Wait, what? Yep, you need to qualify for the bonus and it depends on the benefits you’re paid. 

HMRC has the final sleigh 

Unfortunately, for some, and fortunately for others, the deciding factor for receiving the  £10 tax-free payment before Christmas is not Santa’s naughty or nice list 👀

To get the mysterious Christmas Bonus you must be present or ‘ordinarily resident’, during the qualifying week, in one of the following locations:

  • UK
  • Channel Islands
  • Isle of Man
  • Gibraltar

A person is ordinarily resident if they are living in the United Kingdom lawfully, voluntarily, or for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, whether for a long or short duration. 

You must also receive at least one, of these benefits, in the ‘qualifying week’:

  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer Support Payment
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Pension Credit – the guarantee element
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension

And, that’s just to name a few! To see the full list of qualifying benefits, click here 🔗

If you have not claimed your State Pension and are not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits you will not get a Christmas Bonus.

Have your elf a Merry Christmas!

It seems like HMRC isn’t leaving anybody out this festive season 🙌 

If you’re married, in a civil partnership or living with a significant other and you’re both entitled to one of the qualifying benefits you’ll each get a Christmas Bonus – woohoo! 

If your spouse or civil partner does not get one of the qualifying benefits, fear not! 

They may still get the Christmas Bonus if both the following apply:

  • You’re both over State Pension age by the end of the qualifying week 🧓
  • Your partner was also present (or ‘ordinarily resident’) in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland during the qualifying week 📍

One of the following must also apply:

  • You’re entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for your partner or civil partner
  • The only qualifying benefit you’re getting is Pension Credit 💸

How to claim

Luckily, you don’t need to actually claim the Christmas Bonus. You should get it automatically! So, don’t worry, you’ve not missed out if you haven’t received it – you might just not qualify.

If you think you should get it because you do qualify for it, but haven’t received the payment, contact the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with your payments. You can also contact the Pension Service

And if you don’t get it, then don’t worry. If you need help figuring out what allowances you’re entitled to, you can get your very own accredited accountant to help you sort it! Click here to learn more.

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