Even if you’re not able to register the birth of your newborn baby (congrats, by the way), you’re still able to claim Child Benefit. Here’s how.
Legally, parents must register a birth within 42 days after the baby is born.
With registry offices closed all over the country, this is no longer possible, and registrations have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Registering your baby is how new parents can start a claim for Child Benefit.
But, HMRC has announced that parents will still be able to put in a claim.
How to claim Child Benefit right now
It’s very simple to put in a claim for Child Benefit even though the General Register Offices are closed.
Simply fill in the Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.
If you’ve not been able to register your child’s birth because the offices are closed, you need to add a note letting them know.
For your first child, you must complete the form.
But, if you already claim Child Benefit, you can complete the CH2 form, or you can add your newborn’s details over the phone.
Call 0300 200 3100 and give your National Insurance number or Child Benefit number.
Although you cannot formally register the birth, you are still able to update your details for a Universal Credit claim too.
Money-saving tips if you have a new arrival
How much is Child Benefit?
You’re able to backdate claims for Child Benefit by up to three months.
From 6 April 2020, the amount you received in Child Benefit payments has increased.
The weekly rate for Child Benefit is £21.05 for the first child and £13.95 for each additional child.
The payments are made every four weeks, either on a Monday or Tuesday.
Child Benefit can only be claimed by one person.
If one parent is not working or paying National Insurance contributions, it’s worth claiming in their name to help protect their State Pension.
Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services, HMRC said:
“It’s really important that new parents remember to register for Child Benefit, even during these unprecedented times.
“The increase in Child Benefit is a boost for family budgets, but there’s more to claiming than the payments.
“We’re encouraging people to claim so they don’t miss out on National Insurance credits that help protect their State Pension. It also helps children to get their National Insurance number automatically at 16.”
High Income Child Benefit Charge
If you or your partner earn over £50,000, you may be taxed on the benefit.
You can choose not to get Child Benefit payments, but you should still fill in the Child Benefit claim form as this will help get National Insurance credits.
It will also mean your child will get their National Insurance number automatically before they’re 16 – which may feel like a long way off, but it’s another thing not to have to worry about.
If you’re already getting Child Benefit, you can choose to opt-out.
Or, you can carry on getting the benefit, and pay a tax charge at the end of each year. The tax is 1% of Child Benefit for each £100 of income over £50,000.
You can use the Child Benefit tax calculator to see how much you may have to pay, or you can opt-out of receiving Child Benefit payments altogether.
Once you earn over £60,000, you lose all of your benefits through tax.
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