What Is a Working Tax Credit (WTC)?

The Working Tax Credit (WTC) is a state benefit offered to individuals living in the United Kingdom who work and have a low income. It was introduced in April 2003 as a means-tested benefit, a central part of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. A means-tested benefit is a payment that is available to people who can demonstrate that their income and capital are below specified limits.

How a Working Tax Credit (WTC) Works

The Working Tax Credit is available for individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 with a child or a qualifying disability; those over age 25 do not need a child to qualify. Applicants must be gainfully employed and working a minimum number of hours required each week, as determined by the applicant’s age. There are also required income thresholds by household size and age.

Key Takeaways

  • The Working Tax Credit (WTC) is a state benefit offered to individuals living in the United Kingdom who work and have a low income.
  • The Working Tax Credit (WTC) was introduced in April 2003.
  • The Working Tax Credit is available for individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 with a child or a qualifying disability; those over age 25 do not need a child to qualify.
  • Applicants must be gainfully employed and working a minimum number of hours required each week, as determined by the applicant’s age.

The Working Tax Credit base can pay out at £1,960 annually, with additional qualifications bringing that figure up or down. Citizens can not claim the Working Tax Credit if they live in a Universal Credit area; in that case, they need to pursue the Universal Credit instead. The Universal Credit has been set up to replace several of the existing credits in the United Kingdom. Although the switch to Universal Credit was supposed to be completed by 2017, some areas are still in the process of making the change.

Public Welfare is a common term for public assistance in the United States. People are said to be receiving welfare or assistance when they are in receipt of a variety of government subsidies or benefits. These payments can range from federally-funded initiatives like Social Security payments and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to state-sponsored programs.  While only the Public Welfare program goes by that name, most of these programs are considered types of assistance programs because they are put in place to assist those who need them either temporarily or on a long-term basis.

Many of these programs are paid for by a combination of taxes that are withheld from taxpayer paychecks. Programs like Social Security are directly paid into by each individual taxpayer, while some other programs receive funding from other broader taxes. These subsidies aren’t entirely without cost to the recipient. Some require applicants attend classes or apply to a certain number of jobs a week. In the case of Social Security and Disability benefits, a portion of the payment may be taxable, depending on income limitations. When determining whether taxes will be owed on any benefits that are received, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a professional tax prepare should be consulted.

Each assistance program has its own guidelines and qualifications. Anyone looking for additional information on whether they qualify for state or federal aide should consult the federal website for that specific program.