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Important news about the effects of the Civil Partnership Act for people claiming Working Tax Credit and / or Child Tax Credit

The Civil Partnership Act comes into force on 5th December 2005. Under the Act, two people of the same sex will be allowed to form a civil partnership, with the same rights and responsibilities as those provided by marriage for an opposite sex couple.

From 5th December 2005 same sex couples, who are living together as partners, will be treated in exactly the same way as opposite sex couples, whether or not they have formed a civil partnership.

This means that if you are making a new claim for tax credits on or after 5th December 2005 and you are living with a civil partner, or with a same sex partner as if in a civil partnership, you must make a joint claim as a couple.

If you are already claiming tax credits as an individual but you are living with a same sex partner as if in a civil partnership, you must tell us that you are living as a couple on 5th December 2005 or within 3 months of that date. We will ask you to complete a new joint claim form. If you form a civil partnership in the future or start to live with a same sex partner as if you are civil partners, you must tell us when you begin to live as a couple.

You can contact us to report your circumstances by

  • Ringing the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 (Great Britain) or 0845 603 2000 (Northern Ireland)
  • Visiting one of our Enquiry Centres (listed in the telephone directory as Inland Revenue Enquiry Centre)
  • Writing to HM Revenue & Customs, Tax Credit Office, PRESTON, PR1 0SB or HM Revenue & Customs, Tax Credits Office, Dorchester House, 52-58 Great Victoria Street, BELFAST, BT2 7WF.

If, in addition to tax credits, you or your partner receive income-related social security benefits, that is:-

  • Income support
  • Income - based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit

You must also tell the Department for Work and Pensions (in Northern Ireland, the Department for Social Development) or Local Authority about your circumstances.