Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit (WTC) is a state benefit in the United Kingdom made to people who work and have a low income. It was introduced in April 2003 and is a means-tested benefit. Despite their name, tax credits are not to be confused with tax credits linked to a person's tax bill, because they are used to top-up wages. Unlike most other benefits, it is paid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

WTC can be claimed by working individuals, childless couples and working families with dependent children. In addition, people may also be entitled to Child Tax Credit (CTC) if they are responsible for any children. WTC and CTC are assessed jointly and families remain eligible for CTC even if where no adult is working or they have too much income to receive WTC.

In 2010 the coalition government announced that the Working Tax Credit will, by 2017, be integrated into and replaced by the new Universal Credit. However implementation of this has been repeatedly delayed and may not be finished until 2022.[1]


The WTC replaced the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), which operated from April 1999 until March 2003. The WFTC was itself a transitional system from the earlier benefit for working families known as Family Credit (FC), which had been in operation since 1986.

The WFTC shared its assessment of means and period of renewal (6 months) with FC but moved towards a tax credit approach styled on schemes in other countries, which used an annual declaration of income to assess entitlement for a whole year. Tax credits also replaced the child elements in means tested benefits, the Children's Tax Credit in the tax system, and disabled persons tax credit.

In 2014 WTC and CTC combined cost £30 billion per year.[2]

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