Child benefit cuts: key questions answered

Can you keep child benefit if you haven't had a warning letter? HMRC says no. We answer your questions.

Who will lose child benefit?

Any household where someone earns more than £60,000 will not be eligible for child benefit from Jan 7. Those earning between £50,000 and £60,000 will only be eligible for some child benefit.

What are my options?

Anyone living in a household where someone earns more than £50,000 have two choices.

They can either continue to receive child benefit and repay all or some of the money via the tax system, or they can stop receiving child benefit.

What do I have to do now?

Those wishing to “opt out” of the system have until Sunday evening to visit the HMRC website and fill in a form to stop receiving child benefit.

This form must be completed by the mother, who receives the child benefit.

Everyone else will have to register for self-assessment by October and fill in a full tax return. Money can then either be repaid in a lump sum or in instalments via the PAYE system.

The default option is for people already receiving child benefit to continue doing so and to have the money recovered by HMRC.

But new parents will be given the option to opt in or out when signing up initially.

Whichever option is chosen, the child benefit form should still be completed as it could affect a mother’s state pension entitlement.

What if I have not received a letter?

HMRC says it is the responsibility of households to pay any tax due, even if they have not been warned.

Where can I receive more information?

Visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefitcharge .

• Child benefit questions: We answer specific queries from Telegraph readers