Child Benefit deadline falls next week – and failing to complete paperwork could be ‘expensive mistake’

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Child Benefit is currently worth £1,248 each year for the first child and £826 for additional children

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 22/08/2023

- 14:35

Updated: 22/08/2023

- 14:40

Child Benefit is currently worth £1,248 a year for an only or eldest child

Parents of 16-year-olds who are continuing full time education next month are being urged to contact HMRC about their child’s plans before a deadline next week.

Their Child Benefit will be stopped if they fail to do so.

The payment automatically stops on August 31 after a child reaches 16, but it can be claimed if a child continues education or training.

It means parents have to act quickly if they haven’t already told the taxman that their 16-year-old will continue their education or training, in order to keep getting Child Benefit.

Couple look at laptop

A Child Benefit deadline falls next week


Alice Guy, head of pension and savings at interactive investor, said: “Parents should have received a letter to warn them that Child Benefit is stopping for their 16 years old.

“But in the busyness of holidays, juggling childcare and waiting for GCSE results, it’s easy to let sorting out the paperwork slip off the to-do list.

“But not sorting out the paperwork could be an expensive mistake.

“Child Benefit is currently worth £1,248 each year for the first child and £826 for additional children which is a huge help to parents with the rising cost of feeding and clothing teenagers."

Parents can tell HMRC about the plans via the online service on or on the HMRC app.

To qualify, the education must be full-time. The government says it must be more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised or course-related work experience, and can include:

  • A levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
  • T levels
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
  • Home education - if it started before your child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
  • Traineeships in England

The child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19, and a person can’t get Child Benefit if the child is studying an “advanced” course such as a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate, or if the course is paid for by an employer.

Parents with children

Child Benefit rates depend on who the allowance is for with the eldest or only child qualifying for a higher rate


How much is Child Benefit?

Child Benefit rates depend on who the allowance is for.

For the eldest or only child, the weekly rate is currently £24.

For any additional children, the weekly rate is £15.90 per child.

It may be people responsible for a child opt to waive Child Benefit because they are affected by the High Income Child Benefit tax Charge.

The charge, which depends on individual earnings, can mean some or all of the Child Benefit is lost, so some will choose not to claim the payment to avoid having to pay the tax via a Self Assessment tax return.

However, according to Ms Guy, a claim could still be worthwhile.

She said: “Although parents earning between £50,000 to £60,000 will start to lose their Child Benefit, it can still be worth claiming.

“Your pension contributions reduce your contributions as far as the taxman is concerned, so you may be entitled to keep at least some of your Child Benefit.”

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