HMRC explains how millions of Britons could get £1,200 savings boost – ‘takes five minutes to open’

Saver looks at calculator and bank statement

Millions of low income Britons could qualify for the savings account

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 12/02/2024

- 08:54

Hundreds of thousands of people are already benefitting from the savings account

Millions of Britons could be eligible for a £1,200 boost to their savings via the Help to Save scheme.

The account offers a 50 per cent Government bonus on savings, over four years.

Recent HMRC figures show almost 450,000 customers opened a Help to Save account between September 2018 and March 2023, receiving £146million in bonus payments.

The scheme was extended to April 2025 last year, meaning an extra three million individuals could benefit because of the extension, HMRC said.

Savers can deposit between £1 and £50 into the account each month. Money does not need to be paid in every month.

They will then earn a 50 pence bonus for every £1 saved.

The bonus payments are paid in the second and fourth years.

It meant someone saving the maximum amount possible of £2,400 would get a total of £1,200 in bonus payments.

The money is paid directly into the savers’ bank accounts, rather than the Help to Save account.

It takes less than five minutes to open the account, according to HMRC.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people are benefitting from Help to Save. It’s a great way of saving whatever you can and the government will top up your savings by 50 per cent.”

It’s possible to apply online on the Government website or via the HMRC app.

HMRC logo

Help to Save bonus payments are paid in the second and fourth years


Who is eligible for Help to Save?

Recipients of certain benefits can open a Help to Save account.

To qualify, a person must receive one of the following:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and are entitled to Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit and they (with their partner, if it is a joint claim) had take-home pay of £722.45 or more in their last monthly assessment period.

The bonus payment applies to the highest amount saved within the period.

Money can be withdrawn at any time, although this may affect the 50 per cent bonus payments.

Victoria Todd, Head of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, said: “For those who are able to take part, the Help to Save account is a very attractive savings scheme, especially when the saver is able to maximise their bonuses.

“They can do this by paying in the maximum amount each month and making no withdrawals.

“Those who are eligible can still get bonus payments, even if they can’t save the maximum. That is why we recently welcomed the extension of the scheme to April 2025.”

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