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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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I have found out I haven't received child benefits since October

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I have found out I haven't received child benefits since October 2010 due to Royal Mail returning a letter to them undelivered. Since I do not check my bank statements I have only found out through self assessment recently. HMRC say it is too late to claim that far back, and a new claim can only be back dated by 3 months. It's was apparently up to me to check that the payments were being made, despite no notification. We have not moved house during this time, so I'm surprised Royal Mail needed to return a letter in the first place. Have I missed out on 4 years of child benefit? My son is only still 8 years old. I do earn over 60k though, so from Jan 2012, it may not be worth it- have just claimed back all the tax I've been charged for non existent child benefits in the last 2 tax years.

As you've been told, any claim to start or restart your claim can only be backdated 3 three months. Take a look here as the CAB may be able to advise you if there is any right of appeal against the 3 month backdating limit. You should certainly investigate why post was returned.

If you earned between £50,000 and £60,000 in 2012/13, 2013/14 or 2014/15 then the claim is limited and you lose it all at £60,000. The tax charge for 2012/13 only covered the child benefit paid in the period from 7 January 2013 to 5 April 2013. There is a calculator here which you can use to work out what you will have been entitled to.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
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