Child benefit changes ‘unfair’?

Thousands of East Lancashire families could be affected by changes to child benefit which are due to come into force in January.

Under the new rules, if either a claimant or their partner has income in excess of £50,000 they will have to declare their liability on a self assessment return. It is estimated half a million more taxpayers will be required to complete these self assessment tax returns for 2012/13 onwards.

Under the new rules, child benefit will be withdrawn by 1 per cent for every £100 on income received over £50,000. When income reaches £60,000 the benefit is withdrawn altogether.

Many have criticised these new rules as unfair, for instance they penalise couples where there is one earner with income of more than £50,000 but not couples with income of £49,999 each. Also, very often the partner who claims the benefit may not be the one who suffers from the withdrawal of payments. Due to the complicated nature of the rules, it is important to get advice sooner rather than later from a tax adviser, to make sure everything is in place ready for the new year.