There are two main elements of tax credits: the Working Tax Credit (WTC) and the Child Tax Credit.
Working Tax Credit is available to employees and the self employed who usually do 16 hours or more paid work per week, and who are aged 16 or over and are either responsible for one or more children or are disabled, or are aged 25 or over and usually work at least 30 hours a week, or are aged 50 or over and have recently been receiving a specific benefit. If both members of a couple satisfy the conditions, there is only one credit and they may decide which of them will receive it. From 6 April 2011 individuals aged 60 or over will qualify for WTC if they work at least 16 hours per week, regardless of whether they have dependent children.
Working Tax Credit may also include an element of payment support for approved childcare.
Individuals are entitled to Child Tax Credit for each child they are responsible for if the child is under 16 or under 20 and in approved education and training.
An individual does not need to be working to claim Child Tax Credit.
For all tax credits the maximum amount is reduced by a percentage of a couple’s income.