This blog post aims to answer the question of whether or not one can claim Tax Credits if their child is on an apprenticeship. For this purpose, we will analyse in detail, all the aspects that apply to the situation; explain the nature of the apprenticeship as well as assess the impact of a child’s apprenticeship on the Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits their parent claims.

Can I Claim Tax Credits If My Child Is On An Apprenticeship?

Whether or not you can claim Tax Credits if your child is on an apprenticeship depends on the nature of the apprenticeship. If they are working for less than 30 hours per week or are receiving remuneration for their work, your child will no longer be considered your dependent. Therefore, you will not be able to claim Tax Credits for them anymore.

On the other hand, if your child is part of an approved training program and can be considered as a “qualifying person”, they will be taken as a dependant, their apprenticeship will be taken as a full-time education and you will be able to continue claiming Tax Credits while your child is on an apprenticeship.

Being a “qualifying person” means that the individual who has undertaken the apprenticeship can fulfil the below-listed conditions:

  • They are between 16 and 19 years old; either in full-time non-advanced education or approved training.
  • They are either 16 or 17 years old and registered for further education, work or training with a local authority support service, careers service, Connexions or similar organisation. 

However, in the case of the following situations, you will not be able to claim Tax Credits while your child is on an apprenticeship:

  • They are between 16 and 19 years old and are in advanced education
  • They are 19 years old and undertaking full-time non-advanced education or approved training
  • They are 20 years old 
  • Your child is claiming state benefits including Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, tax credits or Universal Credit on their own

If there are any changes to your circumstances during your child’s apprenticeship, they decide to leave the apprenticeship for a full-time or part-time job or make any other decision regarding their education and potential income, you must inform the HMRC.

If you have overpaid Tax Credits to your account as a result of this change in circumstances, you must inform the HMRC in that case as well. You can pay back paid Tax Credits in one of the following ways:

  • direct debit
  • online and telephone banking
  • at your bank or building society
  • by cheque through the postal service

How Can I Claim Child Tax Credits If My Child Is On An Apprenticeship?

Even though Child Tax Credits stop after the 16th birthday of the child they are being claimed for, these benefits payments can be extended until the child turns 20 years of age approved for education, training or registered with a careers service.

To make sure that you continue receiving your Child Tax Credits and of the right amount, you must inform the HMRC in case of the following:

  • your child turns 16 and continues with education by staying in an approved education or training program
  • your child turns 18 or 19 and stays in approved education or training
  • your child starts or leaves approved education or training
  • your child joins or leaves a careers service
  • they start receiving benefits payments for themselves; such as Universal Credit
  • they leave approved education or training and start to work in a job that pays them for 24 or more hours each week

The Child Tax Credits amounts for the year 2022-2023 are classified as below:

ElementYearly amount
The family element or basic amountUp to £545
The child element for each child in the familyUp to £2,935
For each disabled child in the familyUp to £3,545 (on top of the child element)
For each severely disabled child in the familyUp to £1,430 (on top of the child and disabled elements)

Can My Child Claim Working Tax Credits If They Are On An Apprenticeship?

Yes, your child may be able to claim Working Tax Credits on their own if they are on an apprenticeship. According to the HM Revenue and Customs, apprentices can claim Working Tax Credits under the following conditions:

  • the apprentice can provide proof of employment such as a contract of employment 
  • the apprentice is part of an apprenticeship scheme where the payments they receive are classed as earnings and not reimbursement of expenses 

It must be noted here that earnings are subject to income tax and National Insurance contributions while reimbursement of expenses is not.

However, if an apprentice’s earnings are classified as a non-taxable training allowance or a tax-exempt discretionary allowance, their apprenticeship working hours will not be counted as remunerative work and they will not be able to claim Working Tax Credits.

In general, to be able to qualify for Working Tax Credits, an individual should be able to fulfil the below criteria:

  • they should be in remunerative work for a minimum of 30 hours each week if they are 25 years of age
  • they should be working a minimum of 16 hours per week if they are 16 years old
  • they should be working a minimum of 16 hours per week if they are 60 years old
  • they should have a physical or mental disability due to which they are unable to get a job

Conclusion:

We can safely conclude from the discussion in this article that under specific circumstances, one may be able to continue claiming Tax Credits even after their child starts on an apprenticeship. However, there are some details to be considered here which include the type of apprenticeship, the number of hours being worked, if there is a remuneration attached to the work and its amount. We can only conclude the impact of an apprenticeship on one’s claim for Tax Credits based on the factors mentioned above.

References:

Child Tax Credit when your child reaches 16 – GOV.UK

When your child turns 16 or leaves education | Gingerbread

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