165,000 parents face fines for missing Child Benefit deadline

8 October 2013

Tens of thousands of parents face fines after missing the deadline to register their Child Benefit payments with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

165,000 parents who earn above the £50,000 threshold at which Child Benefit must be paid back to the tax authorities, are thought to have missed the deadline to register for self-assessment with HMRC.

But HMRC said 160,000 people did manage to register for self-assessment by the deadline of 5 October, including 29,000 registering over the weekend.

Since the beginning of this year, more than one million families have lost some or all of their Child Benefit - paid at a rate of £20.30 a week for the first child, with additional siblings getting £13.40 a week.

Households where one parent has an income of more than £60,000 are no longer entitled to the money at all, while those earning between £50,000 and £60,000 have seen a reduction in what they get.

The reduction works out at 1% of Child Benefit for every £100 of pre-tax income earned over £50,000.

But, confusingly, all of these families continue to receive the payments as normal and then have to pay back what they're not entitled to through self-assessment - which means they have to complete a tax return.

HMRC has not announced how much parents must pay in fines, but said any fine will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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