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Not Claiming Child Benefits? How This Could Affect Your Child

A number of children currently in year 11 at school, who are turning 16 years old, have not received a National Insurance number. This is why.

Why Does My Child Need A National Insurance (NI) Number?

It is essential to have a NI number to work, apply for a student loan for university, receive housing benefit or state benefits, if you take out an ISA or receive a pension.

A NI number may be requested for various identity checks such as for banks, credit card companies or for working with children.  

A National Insurance number (NI number or NINO) is usually sent out automatically by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) when a child is around 15 years and 9 months old. It is sent to the address from Child Benefit claims. 

Due to a change in legislation back in 2013, a number of families deregistered from receiving child benefits. Children already receiving child benefit at this date may or may not have an active address against their original record. Without an active address – or if you didn’t apply for child benefit for your child at any point – your child may not automatically receive a NINO.  If this is the case, they will need to apply for one and may need to prove their identity.

How Much Is Child Benefit worth?

The income limit of £50,000 has led to thousands of parents failing to claim their child benefit. The number of registrations since 2013, when the tax charge of high-earning families came in, has dropped by 516,000. Children who have never recieved child benefits since then could be forced to prove their identity to obtain a NI.

Child benefit pays £20.70 a week for your first child, and £13.70 for any additional child.

This benefit is repayable if a parent or their partner earns more than £50,000. If earning are more than £60,000 then the extra tax charge recovers the benefit in full.

Parents who earn more than £60,000 can register for child benefit but not claim it. This avoids the tax charge, but ensures the National Insurance Number entitlements.

How Can I Get A NI Number?

If your child was born in the UK or you received child benefit for them at some point, and they are aged 16 to 19, the child should either:

  • contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if their parent or guardian filled in a Child Benefit claim form or they are not sure. Your child may already have a National Insurance number but they have simply not received it.
  • apply for a National Insurance number online if their parent or guardian did not fill in a Child Benefit claim form. Bear in mind that it can take up to 4 weeks to receive the NI number after applying.

Your child can also contact the NI Helpline 0300 200 3500. 

Child Benefit – Families earning over £60,000 from 6th April, 2024

The current rules about child benefit claims is changing from 6th April, 2024. From this date onwards, if one parent earns more than £60,000, they have to pay back 1% of the family’s Child Benefit for every £100 of the income over £60,000.  Before 6th April, the limit was £50,000.

If either parent earns over £80,000 a year, then all Child Benefit is repaid in extra Income Tax. The old limit was earning over £60,000.    

If you would like more information about NI, tax, payroll, or company finances, contact the team at HB Accountants. We’re here to help you and your business..

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