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Do You Qualify For The Single Person Child Carer Credit?

To claim the Single Parent Child Carer Credit (SPCCC), you must care for a child. The child needs to be either your own child, an adopted child or any child that you support and maintain at your own expense.

Only one parent or guardian of a child can claim the SPCCC in a tax year and the credit can only be claimed once in a tax year even if you have more than one qualifying child.

To qualify for the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit

To qualify for the SPCCC, you must be a “single person” with a “qualifying child”

A “single person” cannot be married; jointly assessed for tax as a married person; living with a partner; or a widow in the year of bereavement. 

A “qualifying child” is any of the following:

  1. Born in the tax year you are claiming for.
  2. Under the age of 18 at the start of the tax year.
  3. Over the age of 18 at the start of the tax year but in full time education. (Full time education is all courses and programmes that include full time instruction at any university, college, or other educational establishment. This includes apprenticeships for any trade or profession for a period of two years or more.) 

It is also important to note that if your child is born during the tax year, you will still qualify for the full value of the tax credit. So, whether the child is born on the 1st of January or the 31st of December, the full tax credit can be claimed.

Unfortunately, a foster child or a child in residential care would not qualify as a “qualifying child”.

Are you the Primary or Secondary claimant?

Once you met the conditions of being a single person for the single parent child carer credit and have a qualifying child, the next step is to check if you are the primary or secondary claimant. 

If you are the primary claimant then the SPCCC is available to you. However, if you are the secondary claimant, then the primary claimant will need to relinquish the credit to you for you to claim it.

Primary claimant:

To be the primary claimant you must meet the single person conditions noted above and your qualifying child must reside with you for the whole year or for the greater part of the year. 

However, if your child is born during the year and for example is born in September, then they must live with you for more than 2 months as the months remaining in the year are prorated from date of birth. 

Secondary claimant:

To be the secondary claimant, you must meet the single person child carer credit conditions note above and your qualifying child must live with you for at least 100 days in the year. The 100 days does not need to be consecutive, and the greater part of a day is counted as a day. 

As the secondary claimant, you can only claim the SPCCC if:

  1. There is a qualifying primary claimant of your child
  2. The primary claimant has relinquished their claim to the credit.

If there is equal custody of the child, then the person who is in receipt of the child benefit payment will be regarded as the primary claimant for the SPCCC.

Giving up your SPCCC claim to a secondary claimant:

If you are the primary claimant, you can give up your right (relinquish / surrendering) to the SPCCC. This is mainly done if you do not have sufficient taxable income to utilise the credit fully. 

You may claim the SPCCC again at a later date should you still qualify as the primary claimant. When you withdraw your surrender of the SPCCC, the tax credit will be restored to you at the beginning of the tax year following the withdrawal.

Change in personal circumstances for current claimants:

If your personal circumstances change during a tax year, i.e., if you get married, reconcile with an estranged spouse, cohabit, or register a civil partnership, then you must notify revenue immediately. This is regardless of you being either the primary or secondary claimant. 

The SPCCC will not be removed from you immediately if you are the primary claimant, however it will be removed for the following tax year.

If you claim SPCCC as a secondary claimant and the primary claimant’s circumstances change, the SPCCC will be removed.

Claiming the Single Person Child Carer Credit

Depending on whether you are the primary claimant or the secondary claimant, then there are different forms that need to be completed.

We take the hassle out of the paperwork that you need to complete so once we know which option applies to you, we will prepare all the necessary forms for each of the tax years. We make things as simple for you as they need to be. 

If you feel that you could be missing out on claiming the SPCCC, simply register with us at and select single parent in the marital status field. We will then check all the conditions with you and if you qualify, we will prepare the necessary forms for signing. 

For other useful Tax Tips on claiming YourMoneyBack please check out our Tax Tips News page here