The primary duty of a democratic government is to take care of the poor and underprivileged in the society – the working poor, those with a whole lot of unbearable responsibilities, those struggling to keep with the brutal realities of life. With nobody else to help them, government for such people is usually the only recourse for support and sustenance. Tax Credits are part of a wonderful effort on the part of the British government to fulfill all the obligations that a true conscientious welfare state has towards its weakest and the most unfortunate. We discuss tax credits briefly. Do read on.

Tax credits

Who Is It For ?
One may qualify for a tax credit if he or she is a low income person who works for very little money. Or one may also have a claim on these benefits, if he or she is economically disadvantaged and is looking after at least one child. In the first case, the tax credits are referred to as “Working Tax Credit” and in the second case, they are called “Child Tax Credit”. It is possible for a person to claim both Working Tax Credit as well as Child Tax Credit, as there are a lot of poor, working men and women, who put in long hours at low paid work and who are also responsible for the care of at least one child. Recent immigrants who have just moved to the United Kingdom do not qualify for tax credits.

More On Working Tax Credit :
The amount of benefit given to an applicant who claims Working Tax Credit, depends on the number of hours of low paid work that the person puts in as an employee in a business or a factory, or as a self-employed person. But it is important for the applicant to provide documentary evidence of the number of hours of work put in by him or her for which he or she has been paid. Unpaid work, if any, does not qualify for this benefit.

More On Child Tax Credits :
The amount of benefit that is available as Child Tax Credit depends on how many children the applicant has living with him or her, whether any of them are disabled, whether the applicants are living as a couple, and also whether the applicant pays for child care. Typically the amount of the benefit got depends on the income of the applicant. Lower the income of the applicant, greater is the benefit that can be availed by him or her.

How To Apply For Tax Credits ?
One may apply for tax credits online through the UK government website www.hmrc.gov.uk. Or one might make use of the dedicated tax credits number and file a claim for the same through telephone. A special facility is available for those who are hearing impaired. One might also send an application by post to the Tax Credits office at Preston, UK. At all times, it is critical for the applicant to keep a note of his or her National Insurance number, which shall be asked for.

Bio :

Cleir is a journalist who works on issues related to poverty and development. This article is an effort on her part to spread awareness in the public about tax credits, which is one of the most important poverty alleviation initiatives undertaken by the government. She makes it a point to hand over the tax credits number to any poor working mother, who she meets in course of her work.