`

Why GCSE students who plan to stay on could have their child benefit stopped

Child benefit will be automatically stopped for 16-year-olds on August 31 unless parents inform HMRC they are staying in full-time education or training.
Child benefit will be automatically stopped for 16-year-olds on August 31 unless parents inform HMRC they are staying in full-time education or training.
0
Have your say

Thousands of students who are about to receive their GCSE results will be planning to stay in full-time education or unpaid training.

And while they will still be eligible for child benefit, their parents are being reminded they must inform the taxman of their plans so it’s not automatically stopped.

Child benefit stops on August 31 or once a child turns 16, if they leave education or training.

It continues if they stay in approved education or training, but parents must tell HMRC in good time to avoid payment stoppages.

Forms have been sent to more than 620,000 people around the country whose child benefit will stop if they don’t return them. So far, only half have been sent back.

If a child is staying in full-time education or unpaid training, the form needs to arrive with HMRC before the end of this month to ensure payments continue.

Customers who have lost their forms can, like 15 million other taxpayers, create an online Personal Tax Account www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account to make their declaration.

Angela MacDonald, director general of customer services at HMRC, said: “Please let us know if your child is continuing in education or training so that you receive the correct benefits without interruption.

“Leaving school and collecting exam results is a rite of passage, and we want to ensure that our support remains consistent as they take that next step into further education or training.”

Full-time education is classed as A-levels, International Baccalaureate, NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level three.

Those taking BTEC courses, university degrees or courses funded by an employer do not qualify for child benefit.

More detailed information about the training and apprenticeships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland eligible for Child Benefit recipients is available online at www.gov.uk/child-benefit-16-19

If customers have not returned their form by August 31, they can call the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday.