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Home Advice and information News Child tax credit if you have two or more children
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Child tax credit if you have two or more children April 2017

The rules for claiming child tax credits have changed. You’ll be affected if you have two or more children already and you have another child born on or after 6th April 2017.

If you already have more than two children and you receive child tax credits you will not be affected. You will only be affected if you have another child who is born on or after 6th April 2017.

Note: only child tax credits are affected. You can still claim child benefit for all your children, including children born on or after 6th April 2017.

It’s still very important to tell HMRC about any new children you have, even if you don’t receive child tax credits for them. This will ensure that you receive any entitlements that your family may become eligible for in the future.

You can report the arrival of a new child in your family online or by telephone.

What is the change?

If you already have two or more children and you have another child born on or after 6th April 2017 you will not usually be able to claim child tax credits for that child, or any other children you have.

There are some exemptions to this rule. It’s very important to check your situation and see whether you could claim an exemption.

Claiming an exemption means you can claim child tax credit for your new child born on or after 6th April 2017 when you already have two or more children.

What are the exemptions to the rule?

There are exemptions if you already have two or more children and any of these situations apply to you:

  • you are  adopting a child from local authority care
  • you become a friend or family carer
  • your child has a child and both live with you.
  • you are having twins or another type of multiple birth
  • you have been raped and became pregnant
  • you were in a coercive or controlling relationship and became pregnant

Is there an exemption for children living with disabilities?

If your new child born on or after 6th April has a disability and you already have two or more children you will usually not get the child element of tax credits for your new child but you will be able to claim the disabled or severely disabled element of tax credits for them. Please call our helpline for more advice on whether your child is likely to be eligible for these payments.

Adoption

There is an exemption if you are adopting a child. If you already have two or more children and adopt a child you will be able to claim child tax credit for the new child joining your family on or after 6th April 2017. Note: this exemption only applies when you adopt a child from local authority care, and not to overseas adoptions or the adoption of a step-child.

Friend or family carers

There is an exemption if you already have 2 or more children and then you start looking after a child who joins your household on or after 6th April 2017. If a court has not yet made an order making you legally responsible for the child you will need to send HMRC a form signed by a registered social worker. Call HMRC 0345 300 3900 to request the form. If you do have a court order or other official documents stating that the child lives with you, call the same number to request details on how to send this evidence and make a claim.

A child or young person in your household has a child

If you already have two or more children, and one of the children or young people you receive child tax credits for has a child on or after 6th April 2017, an exemption is available. An example of this is where your child becomes a parent, and they and their child live with you.

Twins and multiple births

If you already have two or more children and you then have twins or triplets - or any other multiple birth - there is an exemption for some of your children born on or after 6th April 2017. You cannot claim child tax credit for the first-born of your multiple birth, but you can claim for the other children born at the same time (the second-born twin, or the second and third-born triplets and so on).

Domestic abuse and rape

The government call this a ‘non-consensual conception’ exemption.

If you have two or more children and then become pregnant as a result of being raped, you can claim an exemption and receive child tax credit for your child even though they were born on or after 6th April 2017.

You can also claim an exemption if you have two or more children and then you became pregnant with another child while you were in a relationship with someone who was controlling or coercing you.

The rules state that to claim this exemption you must not live with the father of the child you are claiming this exemption for.

More information and support

  • Find out more about child tax credit and how to claim at gov.uk
  • For support, help and information about domestic violence, coercion and controlling relationships and abuse: the national domestic violence helpline and website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the website or call the 24 hour free-phone helpline 0808 2000 247. The helpline is staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential.
  • To get help if you’ve experienced rape, child sexual abuse and/or any kind of sexual violence please visit the Rape Crisis website to find online support, telephone helpline services and local Rape Crisis services

Claiming tax credits

Visit gov.uk

Reporting a change in your circumstances

Visit the gov.uk tax enquiries or call 0345 300 3900

Also see our factsheet: tax credits when your circumstances change