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maternity pay/smp/tax credits etc

(12 Posts)
frazzled74 Wed 31-Aug-11 08:39:05

could anyone advise me about maternity pay please? I am lucky to get full pay for 8 weeks and half pay plus SMP for 18 weeks, but would really like to take off a further 13 weeks at SMP rate and maybe 11 weeks at no pay. Would we be able to claim tax credits during this time to bump up our income? I dont want to sound like a scrounger but i earn more than dh and we rely on 2 incomes for mortgage etc so even with saving and budgeting now im not sure we could manage without my wage, even for a couple of months. Anyone have any tips or experience they can share? I have always gone back to work quite early in the past and would love to make the most of this very last baby.

PamSco Wed 31-Aug-11 08:45:39

Just marking my place, as I'm in the same space. I've been saving like laldy assuming it is SMP then nothing. Would be good if there was a tax credit angle - not hopeful though.

charl2503 Wed 31-Aug-11 08:51:52

as far as i know, you can claim tax credits while you are on maternity leave aslong as you were working up until you started your leave and as long as you intend to go back to work after your leave.

PamSco Wed 31-Aug-11 08:58:24

Do you have to have qualified for them before the mat leave?

charl2503 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:05:47

No. I only started claiming mine when DD1 was born. Before then i didn't qualify. You give them the hours per week you were working before Mat Leave for them to work out your claim.

CBear6 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:25:18

If you're both working full time then your income will be too high for Working Tax Credit so you won't be able to apply until your baby is born (they pay both Working Tax and Child Tax via the same application process and system).

Once your baby is born fill in the form and send it back and they'll assess it. For your hours you just put down however many hours you were working before your maternity leave started, regardless of whether you intend to retun or not (if you don't return just tell them when the time comes). When giving your income you are allowed to deduct £100 for each week of paid maternity leave you have (no matter how much you were paid) up to a maximum of 39 weeks/£3900. Your partner can also deduct £100 for each week o his paternity leave. How much you'll get depends on your income and circumstances but if you check the HMRC website (www.HMRC.gov.uk/taxcredits) or call the helpline (0845 300 3900) they can give you an estimate of what you could be eligible to claim.

One thing for when you do send your form in: the Tax Credits form asks for a Child Benefit number but you won't get this until your Child Benefit claim processes. To avoid delays just leave it blank and attach a note to the form explaining that you've applied for Child Benefit but haven't been allocated a number yet, put in the note that Child Benefit have the birth certificate but that you have had parental responsibility from the date of birth and that you want your claim considered for the maximum 93 day backdating. Doing this makes sure that even if your claim takes a while to process it will be backdated and you'll be paid from your baby's date of birth.

MrsHuxtable Wed 31-Aug-11 09:51:51

CBear,
thanks a lot. I have never found this information anywhere else so clear.
What happens during the unpaid part of maternity leave though? Do people still get tax credits then as well? Sorry if this sounds daft but I seem to remember that you wouldn't get any during that time...

frazzled74 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:57:02

thanks cbear, can i just clarify,? I would put my usual working hours and my usual earnings, deducting £100 per week for maternity leave?

CBear6 Wed 31-Aug-11 10:41:17

Yup, usually hours and usual earnings minus the £100. So for example when I gave them my estimate for this year I declared £6100 instead of £10000.

When you go onto unpaid maternity leave you have to ring up and tell them and they'll record it as you not working (they don't class you as working if you're unpaid) but the claim will still carry on because you don't have to work to claim Child Tax Credit, you just need a qualifying child (plus your DH's work information/hours would still be on there anyway).

MrsHuxtable Wed 31-Aug-11 10:47:56

Thanks again CBear,
so I would still get CTC but no WTC. That's better than nothing. DH is a Phd student and therefore does not count as working. He's teaching but that is only 6 weeks in each semester. We have been to the CAB about this but they have no clue about our situation really...

PamSco Wed 31-Aug-11 12:36:53

Thanks Cbear

frazzled74 Wed 31-Aug-11 19:10:17

thanks for this info, i can do some calculations now.

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