Monday, 23 January 2012

Child Tax Credits: Student Definition

What qualifies a child as a student for Child Tax Credits purposes?
What is the definition of a student for Child Tax Credits?
What is the government definition of Higher Education and Further Education for a child between 16 and 20 so that the parent or carer can claim Child Tax Credits?

Those were the questions I was struggling with and I have heard a number of different definitions.

I did some searching around and I found the HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) web site and eventually found the Tax Credit calculator.  You can use this HMRC Tax Credit calculator to get an idea of what you might be entitled to.  There are two aspects to Tax Credits: yourself and your children.  If your income is low you can qualify for Working Tax Credits and if you have children you can be entitled to Child Tax Credits as well.

There is a slightly difficult area when the child reaches the age of 16 and one major issue for many people is understanding if their child meets the criteria for Child Tax Credits.  I won't go into details here but if you have a child between the age of 16 and 20 who is still in education and your income is low you may be entitled to Child Tax Credits to help in these financially catastrophic times.

The salient point I was looking for was the precise definition of a student.  I used the calculator and on one page it asked the question:

Is this child in full time education or on an approved training course? (You only need to answer this question if this child is aged 16 to 19 or if this child is aged 19 to 20 and was enrolled, accepted for or started full-time education or approved training before they turned 19.)

And there were links to helpful information for full time education and approved training course.  This information gave the definition required as follows:

Full-time Education

A young person aged 16 and under 20 is classed as being in full-time education if they are studying

• at school or college, or a similar recognised establishment
• for a qualification up to and including A level, NVQ level 3 or Scottish national qualifications at higher or advanced higher level or equivalent. This does not include studying for a university degree or similar qualification
• for at least 12 hours a week during normal term time, not including meal breaks or time spent on unsupervised study.

A young person aged 19 must have enrolled, been accepted for or started full-time education before they turned 19.

A young person will still count as being in full-time education in any week where

• as part of the curriculum, they are on holiday or preparing for exams
• they are away from school or college due to sickness or ill-health but are intending to return to that course of education
• they have ended one course of education but have registered for a further course starting in the following term, and the only reason for not currently studying is that they are waiting for that course to start.

Approved Training Course

An approved training course is one of the following and is not provided through a contract of employment.

• England - Entry to Employment, Foundation Learning Programmes or Programme Led Apprenticeships
• Scotland - Get Ready for Work Skillseekers or Modern Apprenticeships
• Wales - Skillbuild, Skillbuild+ or Foundation Modern Apprenticeships
• Northern Ireland - Programme Led Apprenticeships (Apprenticeships NI), Jobskills, or Training for Success: Professional and Technical Training.

If your child is 19 years old, they must have enrolled, been accepted for or started approved training before they turned 19.

So there you have it.

You can find out more from the Child Tax Credit Calculator at:

And thanks to Fredler Brave for the picture of students.

1 comment:

  1. It's easier to just avoid tax and give the money to yer daughter....

    I may get nicked for it one day (a la Harry Redknapp) but I don't care...

    My money went where I wanted MY money to fuck em all...

    Nick me...imprison me...criminalise daughter got the benefit and not some Somalian bitch with ten kids...

    I'll live with that...