Working Tax Credit
Please note: You are no longer able to make a new claim for tax credits. In most cases, if you want to make a new claim, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead. You may also need to claim Universal Credit if you experience a change in circumstances.
If you tell us you are currently receiving tax credits we will work out how much you should be entitled to. So you can see how moving to Universal Credit could affect your entitlements we will also show what you might be entitled to under Universal Credit on the results page.
This guide remains for people who are still claiming tax credits.
What is it?
Working Tax Credit is a payment from HM Revenue and Customs to top-up the earnings of people who are low paid and live in a low income household, whether or not you are responsible for children.
Working Tax Credit can also provide help with childcare costs. Payments are means tested, so the more you earn the less you receive.
Can I get it?
You can get Working Tax Credit if you are already claiming it or if you are already claiming Child Tax Credit. It has been replaced by Universal Credit for people with no existing tax credit claim.
If you already get tax credits the required work hours for WTC depend on which of the groups below you are in:
Entitlement group 1. Lone parents working 16 hours or more a week
Entitlement group 2. Couples with dependent children where:
a. One member is working 24 hours or more a week, or
b. Both members are working and between them work a total of 24 hours or more a week, as long as one is working 16 hrs or more a week, or
c. One member is working 16 hours or more a week and the other is 'incapacitated' (for more information see HMRC's guidance on the meaning of incapacitated), or
d. One member is working 16 hours or more a week and the other is in prison, or in hospital, or
e. One member is working 16 hours or more a week and the other member is entitled to Carer's Allowance.
Entitlement group 3. Single or couples (with or without children) where the working person is aged 60 or over and working 16 hours or more a week.
Entitlement group 4. Single people or couples (with or without children) where at least one of the working people works 16 hours or more a week and has a physical or mental disability that puts them at a disadvantage in getting a job and who is currently receiving or has recently received some form of disability benefit. More information is available on Working Tax Credit disability element.
Entitlement group 5. Single people or couples without children where one or both are working but at least one of the working people is aged 25 or over and working 30 hours or more a week.
How much is Working Tax Credit
WTC is calculated using "elements". You get whichever elements apply to you and the amount of WTC you actually end up with may be reduced after your income is taken into account. If your income is more than £7,455 this will affect the amount of WTC you can get. Your maximum entitlement to tax credits will be reduced by a percentage of the income you receive over the threshold.
The elements and the yearly amounts from April 2023 are:
- a basic element (£2,280)
- a couple element (£2,340)
- a lone parent element (£2,340)
- a childcare element (up to 70% of the max eligible cost is included)
- a 30 hour element (£950)
- a disabled worker element (£3,685)
- a severe disability element (£1,595)
How do I claim?
You can only get Working Tax Credit if you are already claiming it or if you are already claiming Child Tax Credit. It has been replaced by Universal Credit for people with no existing tax credit claim.
Tax credits are administered by HM Revenue & Customs. You can make a claim or report a change of circumstance by calling the helpline on 0345 300 3900 or textphone 0345 300 3909. Lines are open daily from 8 am to 8 pm. If you have not already applied for tax credits your claim can only be back-dated one month.
You can make a claim for Working Tax Credit providing you have accepted an offer of a job and that job is due to start within the next seven days. The work must be expected to last for at least four weeks from the time of making the claim.
Self-employed Working Tax Credit claimants need to be registered with HMRC for Self Assessment purposes and provide a Unique Tax Reference number in order to be able to claim. Those declaring income less than the equivalent of working 24 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage will also be required to provide evidence to HMRC that the work they are undertaking is genuine and effective.
If you are already claiming tax credits you need to renew your award annually. You may also need to tell HM Revenue & Customs about changes during the year - for more information see changes of circumstance.
If you are already receiving tax credits please note that you may be subject to an adjustment from previous years. To find out more see tax credit overpayments.