High-income child benefit charge - opting out

Elections not to receive child benefit for higher rate tax payers will need to be considered soon for the 2013/14 tax year. As a reminder, if a partner’s income is in excess of £60,000, it may be preferable to disclaim the benefit in order to avoid the charge. This election takes effect in relation to weeks beginning after the election is made.

HMRC manuals state the following:

  • on the Monday after a person’s most recent Child Benefit payment; or
  • where a person’s Child Benefit payment has already been issued, the Monday after the week(s) this payment relates to; or
  • on the day a person requests if later than either Monday
  • 14 May 2013, the election will take effect from 6 May 2013
  • 28 May 2013, the person will already have received their Child Benefit payment for the period up to 2 June 2013 and so their election will take effect from 3 June 2013
  • 24 May 2013, although the payment for the period up to 2 June 2013 will not have been paid into the person’s account, it will have already been issued and so the election will take effect from 3 June 2013.

However, care needs to be taken when deciding if an election is the right way forward. You can find guidance on the HMRC website by using the 'Related Links'.

It provides the following example:

A person is paid Child Benefit four-weekly, three weeks in arrears and one week in advance. Where a payment is due for the period 6 May 2013 - 2 June 2013, the date a person’s election takes effect depends on when Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs receive that election.