High Income Child Benefit Charge – Don’t ignore it!

This is not new and has been in place since January 2013 : If you or your partner are in receipt of Child Benefit, and one of you earns over £50,000, you need to declare this on your self assessment tax return and pay back part or all (if you earn over £60,000) through your self assessment. If you are not in the self-assessment system then you need to register.

A recent case saw a taxpayer appeal against penalties on the grounds that they had not received notification of this from HMRC personally. The tribunal found in favour of HMRC on the grounds that:

  • Ignorance of law cannot be accepted as a reasonable excuse as that would favour those who choose to remain ignorant of the law.
  • The burden is on the taxpayer to check that their tax affairs are dealt with correctly

As part of their Making Tax Digital initiative, it looks like HMRC intend to have this information automatically by 2019 so you will no longer have to inform them. Let’s watch this space!