The government has a range of benefits and tax credits available for people who are working and who are on a low income as well as those who are currently out of work ).
Working Tax Credits are payments from the government for those who are on a low income. To be entitled to Working Tax Credits, a calculation is made based on the number of hours worked and the income. They are available for those who are a paid employee and also for the self-employed. The work has to be paid, so there would be no entitlement for anyone who is undertaking a voluntary role of some kind. Until the tax credit payments are made, if there is a temporary emergency that requires a small loan, talking to a company such as wonga.co.za could be the short term solution you’re looking for, but relying on services such as this is indicative of why these credit payments are a necessary government expenditure in the first place.
Calculations take into consideration the personal circumstances of the claimant. This includes whether they live alone or if there is a partner living in the household and if there are any children. For anyone who is married, in a civil partnership or living together as a couple, then a joint application would need to be made to have a full picture of the total household situation. Resulting payments are then made directly into a nominated bank or building society account on either a weekly or four-weekly basis.
For anyone who feels they are on a low income and wonder if they might qualify, an online calculator is available to enter details into – Whilst the calculator results will give an idea of any payment which could be due, this is not a definitive answer and an official application will need to be submitted to ensure entitlement is correct.
Claiming government benefits of any kind can be confusing and so if needed, Citizen’s Advice are on hand to help with how to make a claim, or any resulting documentation which is not easily understood.
Working Tax Credits are calculated based on the earnings of the previous tax year and are then reviewed annually. Every April, May or June, a letter is sent to the claimant and there is a deadline of 31 July to check the information and the income details and to confirm the current situation. It is the responsibility of the claimant to ensure that any changes in employment or personal situation (such as someone joining or leaving the household) are given to the Tax Credits office so the entitlement can be re-calculated. If this is not done immediately, an overpayment could be made which would then need to be re-paid.
Working Tax Credits are constantly under review, with plans earlier this year mooted to look to make tax credit claimants do more to boost their current earnings and whilst there are no plans for this to be confirmed and introduced at any time in the near future, the entitlement rules do change. With this in mind, anyone who feels they may not have qualified in the past may want to ask again if they were only just above the income and hours threshold.
Working Tax Credits are a welcome boost to family incomes and nobody should miss out on payments. For anyone who works but has a low wage, they should talk to the Working Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 to see if they can make a claim.