Child benefit when high earner is on mat leave

Hello, 

I'm pregnant with my first child and the high earner in our household. 
I understand its still worth me applying for child benefits and either rejecting it or paying the charge via the self assessment form.
My question is, do the HMRC take into account who the applicat is? I'll be on mat leave for a year on the basic SMP so will not be earning anywhere near 53k. My husband earns just under £49k. 
It may be wishful thinking to assume they differentiate who the higher earner is and permit the full benefit allowance whilst in mat leave.

Comments

  • Veteransaver
    Veteransaver Posts: 328
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    If either of you earn over £50k then you start losing child benefit. However it's the one who is the higher earner that effectively gets charged it via tax. If you are both over £50k then it's the one who receives it that has to pay the tax charge.  So it doesn't really matter who receives it, although receiving it does count towards your NIC years for the state pension so it's usually worth the one that will work less years claiming it.
    But it sounds like either of you should start claiming it. Your husband should make sure he stays under the £50k though, he can do this by making additional pension contributions or other salary sacrifice measures.
  • If either of you earn over £50k then you start losing child benefit. However it's the one who is the higher earner that effectively gets charged it via tax. If you are both over £50k then it's the one who receives it that has to pay the tax charge.  So it doesn't really matter who receives it, although receiving it does count towards your NIC years for the state pension so it's usually worth the one that will work less years claiming it.
    But it sounds like either of you should start claiming it. Your husband should make sure he stays under the £50k though, he can do this by making additional pension contributions or other salary sacrifice measures.
    Thank you. So there's no distinction between who is the higher earner and who will be on mat leave? That's a shame. Would it be worth me making additional pension contributions prior to mat leave to off set the amount of child benefit received or is this negligible?
  • amanda1024
    amanda1024 Posts: 246
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    If I’ve understood correctly, while you’re on mat leave your income will be below the threshold so you’ll be able to keep the child benefit for that year, as long as your husband’s income stays below the threshold too.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,638
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    It is your annual figure that matters.  Depending on when you go on maternity leave will your  'total net adjusted income'  be under £50,000?

    https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-tax-charge

    If neither of you are over £50,000  for the year , then there is no charge. 

  • Dazed_and_C0nfused
    Dazed_and_C0nfused Posts: 12,783
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    If either of you earn over £50k then you start losing child benefit. However it's the one who is the higher earner that effectively gets charged it via tax. If you are both over £50k then it's the one who receives it that has to pay the tax charge.  So it doesn't really matter who receives it, although receiving it does count towards your NIC years for the state pension so it's usually worth the one that will work less years claiming it.
    But it sounds like either of you should start claiming it. Your husband should make sure he stays under the £50k though, he can do this by making additional pension contributions or other salary sacrifice measures.
    Not sure where you have got that from?

    That would easy to manipulate and avoid HICBC.  For example one person has ANI of £51,000 and the other £60,000 then it would mean you could have a 10% HICBC simply by ensuring the Child Benefit was paid to the person with the lower ANI.

    When in reality it is the higher earner who is liable and in that example the charge would be 100%
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