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Child benefit: Is it really tax free?

By Meg Saksida, October 2020

Meg Saksida considers the workings of the high income child benefit charge. 

Tax allowances for children have been around since 1798 and are a very welcome contribution to most UK households. In its modern form, child benefit was phased in from 1977 to 1979.  

Today, child benefit represents a tax-free payment, calculated weekly and paid every month.  

The clawback 

In terms of claiming child benefit, anyone who is resident in the UK and is responsible for their own child (or someone else’s) who is aged under 16 will be eligible to claim. Claims will be extended if the child is under 20 but still being educated on approved courses, such as GCSEs, A levels and BTECs. Since 2013, child benefit has been ‘means tested’ and may be therefore be &lsquo

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