Child benefit started to be taxed from 9 January 2013, but only in cases where the claimant or their partner received income of over £50,000 a year. HMRC have been writing to those individuals who said they had received child benefit and earned over £50,000 in 2012/13, but who did not themselves actually pay the high income child benefit charge (HICBC). This is likely to be because the individual’s spouse or partner received higher income and had actually paid the HICBC which HMRC seem to be chasing.
The letters are written to attract attention, with the words “You need to act now!” stamped in red across the front, but they have not been copied to us as your agents. Please contact us if you receive such a letter, as we will get in touch with HMRC on your behalf. If HMRC had cross-checked with the partner’s tax return, these letters would have been unnecessary.