If you are a higher earner the deadline to opt out of receiving child benefit is on the 6 January this year! You should have been notified in writing by HMRC of the new changes to the child benefit system, which come into operation in the near future. It is reported over 155,000 people have already decided to stop receiving child benefit, due to their higher earnings.

The new changes are applicable if you or your partner receive child benefit and one partner earns over £50,000 in a tax year. The child benefit you are eligible to will gradually reduce from income of £50,000 up to £60,000 when child benefit will then stop completely.

A tax charge will be imposed on the child benefit received if one partner earns £50,000 or more, and will have to be declared on a self assessment tax return.

It is important to consider that if you earn less than £60,000 then the new tax charge will be less than the child benefit, which means that you might miss out if you decide to stop receiving child benefit payments.