High earners reminded of child benefit charge

People receiving child benefit, who have an income of over £60,000, are being reminded to opt out of receiving payments before 28 March in order to avoid paying a new charge by self-assessment tax return.

The reminder from HMRC follows the introduction of the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC), which gradually withdraws the benefit for those earning over £50,000 and removes it completely for those earning more than £60,000.

Figures from HMRC show that over 370,000 have opted out of receiving child benefit since the HICBC was introduced on 7 January 2013.

HMRC said that those who have already opted out do not need to take any further action. But those who continue to receive the benefit will have until 5 October 2013 to register for self-assessment and repay the benefit received between January and April 2013.

Lin Homer, chief executive at HMRC, said: "Anyone wanting to opt out of Child Benefit payments can do so at any time. It is really easy - just go to our website. Anyone with an income over £60,000 who has received Child Benefit since January needs to register for self-assessment by 5 October to repay some or all of this year's benefit, but if they opt out now this will be a one-off."

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