Child Benefit - Avoiding a tax return

My tax affairs are fairly straight forward, as my only source of income is my salary which is taxed at source by my employer. However, my partner receives Tax Credits and Benefits for our two young children and it looks like I may be affected by this High Income Child Benefit Charge. Is there any way I can avoid the completion of a tax return? I have never had to do one before.

1st January 2014

To make things a little simpler, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) allow you to have the Charge collected via your tax code.

This means the deductions of tax that your employer makes from you each pay period will be larger, but avoids the need for having to pay it to HMRC in one lump via the Self Assessment system. However, this does not negate the requirement for a tax return. It is merely an easier way to pay the Charge.

The only way you can avoid the requirement for a tax return if the High Income Child Benefit Charge applies to you, is to forfeit your Child Benefit and opt to no longer receive it. As it is your partner that receives it, they will have to do this - it cannot be done by you.

Unfortunately, as the 2012/13 tax year has already passed, you will need to complete a return for this year and also for 2013/14 as we are part-way through it. But moving forward, you should avoid the need for a return. Please note, opting out must be done by the recipient of the benefit.

If you would like any advice about Tax Credits or assistance with completing your tax return, please do not hesitate to contact your local TaxAssist Accountants office.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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