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Child benefit - earn just over 50k - is it worth claiming?

(36 Posts)
Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:27:09

I have recently split from my husband. We had previously stopped child benefit as he earns over the threshold. However I am now wondering whether I should claim. I earn just over 50k so I understand I’d have to pay a tax charge after filling in an individual tax return but I think that the charge would be less than I receive.

My query is whether I need to take any maintenance paid into account as income? That might take me over the 60k boundary. I asked the child benefit office but they just sent me a link to the info online I’d already read so that wasn’t particularly helpful.

Also I’ve never filled in a tax return so I’ve no idea how much work it is. Can anyone advise on whether it is all worth it?

Aliveinwanderland Mon 06-Nov-17 18:28:40

Do you earn over £50k after your pension and any child care vouchers have been deducted?

Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:31:41

My gross salary is 51000 but pension and childcare vouchers are taken off from that amount.

Quartz2208 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:32:43

Yes it is - after all the deductions from my husband (51 plus 5 bonus) we owed back about 100

PaintingByNumbers Mon 06-Nov-17 18:32:59

Sounds like you earn under 50k for cb purposes then

Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:35:06

Ok thanks. That’s good news. Anyone know if I have to include child maintenance as part of my income?

PragmaticWench Mon 06-Nov-17 18:35:06

Even if you're over the threshold you should claim it but say you don't want to receive it, so your NI contribution is protected.

Obviously you might be eligible to receive some anyway.

PaintingByNumbers Mon 06-Nov-17 18:35:37

Afaik it just goes on your tax return income, and you'll be filling that out anyway, so note any charitable donations, pay extra into pension if needed, should easily bring income below 50k

whereiscaroline Mon 06-Nov-17 18:36:45

No, maintenance does not count towards the income threshold.

Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:37:25

I’ve never done a tax return as never had any earnings other than salary. Would I have to start if my income is actually less than 50k?

PaintingByNumbers Mon 06-Nov-17 18:38:06

I thought all higher rate earners were supposed to do one?

Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:38:51

Really? <panics slightly!>

PaintingByNumbers Mon 06-Nov-17 18:40:02

Although actually maybe not, I guess it depends if you were not paying enough tax on eg savings. Its worth doing anyway if you make donations to charity and are a higher rate tax payer

PaintingByNumbers Mon 06-Nov-17 18:40:27

Lol sorry to worry you ...

Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:41:18

I do donate to charity but never knew that was important to take into account. Thanks for all this advice.

Aliveinwanderland Mon 06-Nov-17 18:42:48

You are below £50k then and still entitled. The vouchers and pension come off first.

Higher earners only need to do a self assessment when you earn over £100k.

Personanongrata80 Mon 06-Nov-17 19:15:58

Thanks all. I have phoned up and as I’ve previously claimed I don’t need to reapply. They will just reinstate child benefit. However I couldn’t get a straight answer about whether my salary of over 50000 counts or not towards having to pay the tax... I’ve answered yes to earning over. Presumably if I fill in a tax return they won’t charge me if they decide I actually earn under?

Aliveinwanderland Mon 06-Nov-17 19:59:58

You should answer no for earning over £50k as, when the dedications are done, you don’t.

You also don’t need to do a tax return, however if you do decide to do one then it will all even put in the end and you won’t be worse off.

Mytimenow Mon 06-Nov-17 20:18:47

Am always confused with this as dh earns slightly over threshold but when filling in tax return it says if your pension contributions are taken before tax you can't deduct from salary, we always end up paying most of it back.

Personanongrata80 Thu 16-Nov-17 17:12:17

Thanks for all the help previously. I rang up today to tell them my taxable earnings are actually less than 50k but then they said I might need to take into account my husband’s earnings in this tax year as to whether I need to pay a tax charge. This is even though I haven’t claimed child benefit while we were together. The child benefit office then put me through to the tax office to check but they told me they couldn’t answer that question... so does anyone on here know?

43percentburnt Thu 16-Nov-17 17:23:49

Does your husband earn over 50k after pension deductions? Are you together? It is his responsibility if he is the highest earner to call Hmrc and pay the CB charge anyway not yours so if your not together and you claimed when together it’s not your problem.

If pension is taken at source your p60 shows your earnings net of pension deductions plus any other salary sacrifice (childcare vouchers, cycle to work, sharesave).

If you pay into a pension after you get paid (maybe a direct debit from your bank or a lump sum ) then the gross pension is deducted from your p60 earnings. It’s often worth paying a pension contribution to get you below 50k depending on how many children you have and what your total salary is.

There are instructions on the HMRC website.

43percentburnt Thu 16-Nov-17 17:26:44

To clarify.. if you pay into a pension from your bank account the gross pension needs to BE deducted by you from your p60 income to obtain your actual income for CB purposes.

Bet it costs them more to administer and explain then what they save! Well until they reduce the 50k threshold!

Personanongrata80 Thu 16-Nov-17 17:34:12

My husband earns over 60k so we were not claiming child benefit. But he left in October so I phoned up to restart child benefit last week. But now they are saying I might need to take his income prior to our separation into account. Though no one official can give me a straight answer!

HotelEuphoria Thu 16-Nov-17 17:38:28

I suspect it will be for the full 2017-2018 tax year. I would reapply in April.

PaintingByNumbers Thu 16-Nov-17 18:16:23

It isnt your problem though. You could have claimed it every year. Its him that has the problem of paying it back.

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