Child Benefit and the High-Income Child Benefit Charge during the coronavirus outbreak

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on incomes in the most affected sectors has the potential to have a knock-on effecton eligibility for Child Benefit and the High-Income Child Benefit Charge.

The High Income Child Benefit Charge was introduced by the Government to recoup some or all of the Child Benefit received by households in which at least one person earns more than £50,000 a year and either they or their partner or spouse receives Child Benefit.

The charge is set so that Child Benefit is gradually cancelled out between £50,000 and £60,000, with people earning above this rate effectively having their child benefit negated entirely.

However, it has been possible to opt-out of Child Benefit in order not to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

Anyone in this position, whose income has fallen below £50,000 may wish to apply for Child Benefit.

However, people who have opted to pay the High-Income Child Benefit Charge, while still receiving Child Benefit, face a more complicated situation. In these circumstances, their income must fall below £50,000 for a whole tax year before they can stop paying the charge.