Child Benefit - getting information from an ex-partner

I earn over £50,000 and my ex-wife and I have two children together, so I think we may be affected by the High Income Child Benefit Charge. Unfortunately, the split was not amicable so how do I find out if she received Child Benefit?

1st January 2014

You will need to talk to your partner to find out if one of you gets Child Benefit and one of you has an individual income of more than £50,000 a year. 

If you can't get this information, you can get in touch with HMRC. But HMRC will only release this information to you if you earned more than £50,000 and you live with or split up from your partner during the year in question.  

Because of the need to respect the confidentiality of your tax affairs, and those of your partner or ex-partner, the only information you can get from HMRC will be one or both of the following:

  1. Whether your partner/ex-partner received Child Benefit for a specific tax year
  2. Whether your individual adjusted net income was higher than your partner's/ex-partner's income for a specific tax year

HMRC will only reply yes or no, for each question. This will be based on the latest information available to HMRC.
To obtain this information, you can either send in an online form which sets out what you can ask for, or you can write to HMRC. You won't be able to ask HMRC for the information over the telephone or in person.

In terms of the Charge to declare on your tax return, I’m afraid you will have to calculate it yourself using the guidance from HMRC.

Alternatively, your local TaxAssist Accountant could take care of all of this for you- from contacting HMRC, to calculating the Charge to preparing your return. Please feel free to contact us for more information. 

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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