Working Tax Credit (WTC) has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

WTC is for those in low paid work, whether or not they are responsible for a child.

People who already have an award for WTC can add on a new claim for Child Tax Credit. You can only make a new claim for WTC if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

Am I eligible for Working Tax Credit?

You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify. You can qualify from age 16 if you fall into one of the last 3 categories; if not in one of the 16 hour categories you must be aged 25 and over and working at least 30 hours.

Circumstance Hours a week
Aged 25 to 59 At least 30 hours
Aged 60 or over At least 16 hours
Disabled At least 16 hours
Single with 1 or more children At least 16 hours
Couple with 1 or more children Usually, at least 24 hours between you (with 1 of you working at least 16 hours)

A child is someone who is under 16 (or under 20 if they're in approved education or training). Child Tax Credit when your child reaches 16.

Use the tax credits calculator on the GOV.UK website to check if you work the right number of hours.

You can still apply for Working Tax Credit if you are on maternity leave, sick pay or are in between jobs.

Exceptions for couples with at least one child

You can claim if you work less than 24 hours a week between you, and one of the following applies:

  • you work at least 16 hours a week and you're disabled or aged 60 or above
  • you work at least 16 hours a week and your partner is incapacitated (getting certain benefits because of disability or ill health), is entitled to Carer's Allowance, or is in hospital or prison

What counts as work

Your work can be:

  • for someone else, as a worker or employee
  • as someone who's self-employed
  • a mixture of the two

If you're self-employed

Some self-employed people are not eligible for Working Tax Credit. To qualify, your self-employed work must aim to make a profit.

It must also be commercial, regular and organised.

This means you may not qualify if you do not:

  • make a profit or have clear plans to make one
  • work regularly
  • keep business records, such as receipts and invoices
  • follow any regulations that apply to your work, for example having the right licence or insurance

If the average hourly profit from your self-employed work is less than the National Minimum Wage, HM Revenue and Customs may ask you to provide:

  • business records
  • your business plan
  • details of the day-to-day running of your business
  • evidence that you've promoted your business - such as advertisements or flyers

Your pay

The work must last at least 4 weeks (or you must expect it to last 4 weeks) and must be paid.

This can include payment in kind (for example farm produce for a farm labourer) or where you expect to be paid for the work.

Exceptions

Paid work does not include money paid:

  • for a 'Rent a Room' scheme (less than £7,500 or £3,750 for joint owners)
  • for work done while in prison
  • as a grant for training or studying
  • as a sports award
  • as a volunteer if only paid expenses

Your income

There's no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, £18,000 for a couple without children or £13,100 for a single person without children - but it can be higher if you have children, pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled.

How much Working Tax Credit will I get?

How much you get depends on things like your circumstances and income.

The basic amount is up to £1,995 a year.

Element Yearly amount
You're a couple applying together Up to £2,045
You're a single parent Up to £2,045
You work at least 30 hours a week Up to £825
You have a disability Up to £1,390 (usually on top of the disability payment)
You pay for approved childcare Up to £175.00 (1 child) or £300.00 (2 or more children) a week

Use the tax credits calculator on the GOV.UK website to work out how much you could get. Payments are made either weekly or 4 weekly into your nominated bank or building society account.

How do I claim?

Call HM Revenue and Customs to make a new claim for Working Tax Credit. It can take up to 5 weeks to process a new claim.

You can claim after starting a new job, at any time of the year.

If you're on benefits (for example Jobseeker's Allowance or Income Support), you can usually start claiming 7 days before you start a new job.

You'll be asked for some information and given an estimate of how much you'll get. You may be asked for:

  • your National Insurance number (if you have one)
  • your income for the last tax year
  • details of any benefits you get
  • details of any childcare payments
  • the number of hours you work per week
HM Revenue and Customs

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm

Saturday, 8am to 4pm