The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) was introduced to ensure that support is targeted at those who need it most. It applies to anyone with an income over £50,000 who claims Child Benefit, or whose partner claims Child Benefit. The tax charge increases gradually for taxpayers with incomes between £50,000 and £60,000.
Families in which at least one taxpayer has an income over £60,000 can choose not to receive the Child Benefit, which means that they do not have to pay the tax charge at all. Those who continue to receive Child Benefit must register for Self Assessment to declare their Child Benefit payments and pay the tax charge through their tax return. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) encourages customers to contact it straightaway to pay the tax charge and the vast majority do so.
Information on HICBC widely available, including in packs for new parents telling them how to claim Child Benefit, as well as on the Child Benefit claim form itself. Guidance is also available online on gov.uk.
HMRC has a duty to apply tax legislation fairly and in an even-handed way, and takes every opportunity to make individuals aware of their responsibilities, including notifying of any taxes due.