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Single mum to be: Tax Credits confusion

(7 Posts)
KayteLowri Fri 10-Nov-17 11:51:04

Hello.
I am stressed.
I've just called Tax credit helpline and after 30 mins listening to their rubbish music, I then listened to an android (he was def reading from a script) explain how he was logging onto gov.com to calculate my tax credits. AS IF I HAVEN'T ALREADY TRIED THAT!!!!
Please help, I'm going insane.
Situation:
I am a single person.
I work full time as a teacher on about 28000 a year.
Today maternity leave begins.
I have about 12 weeks on full-ish pay before SMP (140 per week kicks in)
So around early Feb I'll be on £560 a month and I am freaking out.
I have a mortgage.
I have a car and insurance.
Bills
The normal stuff.
When I use the Tax credit calculator obviously I'm not entitled to anything as my earnings are good.
What happens from Feb though when my earnings drop?
Do I have to wait until April and the new tax year before I can get tax credits?
Why is it so hard to find out?
It is impossible to calculate in advance, but how am I supposed to budget if I don't know how much I can get?
I've spoken to CAB and they seemed as perplexed as me.
Can someone give me a rough estimate of what I might be able to claim when I'm down to SMP in terms of child and working tax credits?
Thank you

AndWhat Fri 10-Nov-17 12:12:12

They work on an annual income as opposed to monthly. Therefore work out what you have earned/will earn during the 17/18 year and then the 18/19 year to get the most accurate figures. It may be that your normal earnings push you over the limit.
You'll be entitled to CB though, sorry if that's not helpful.

Babyroobs Fri 10-Nov-17 12:16:52

The cut off for child tax credits with one child ( I'm assuming it's your first) is around £26k. Therefore from April 2017-18 you are likely to have earnt around that so would be entitled to nothing for this tax year, except of course the £20.70 child benefit.
You can still put in an application for child tax creidts when the baby is born but you are likely to receive a nil award.
You would then need to ring them with an estimate of your earnings for 2018-19 tax year. as this is likely to be significantly less then you should be awarded something. Obviously how much you earn will depend when you go back to work. You can take off £100 a week smp x 39 weeks ( assuming you are on SMP for the full 39 weeks), so you can take £3900 off your total.
There will be no help towards your mortgage unless you are on a qualifying benefit and even then mortgage interest support is now becoming a loan to be repaid from April 2018.
Any child maintainence is not counted as income for tax credit calculations.
When you return to work you can claim help with childcare costs.
You may need to find out if your area is becoming a Universal credit area in the near future as that would have to be claimed instead of tax credits.

Babyroobs Fri 10-Nov-17 12:19:56

Also just to add there is a disregard on the first 2.5k drop in income. So if you earnt 28k last year and 15k next year, they would base it on earnings of 17.5k. Sorry tax credits are complex. You would only be entitled to working tax credits if your income drops below 18k I think and you would need to be working more than 16 hours as a lone parent.

KayteLowri Fri 10-Nov-17 13:48:01

Thank you, that kind of clarifies what has taken me ALL day so far to find out. It is complex but looks like when I'm on super low income, I will be getting some help and it makes the financial situation a little more do-able.

SingaSong12 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:13:35

The other thing to check is whether you will be in a full service universal credit area at that point. They are rolling it out across the country and it replaces tax credits.

SingaSong12 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:16:04

You can use this
ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate

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