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HMRC says 270,000 opted out of child benefit

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Some 270,000 people have decided to opt out of receiving child benefit following changes to eligibility rules, according to the latest figures.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said there was a late surge of around 80,000 during the weekend before the rule-change deadline.

Families with one parent with a taxable income of more than £50,000 will lose some of the benefit, while it will be withdrawn entirely if one parent earns above £60,000.

The benefit will be recovered through a tax charge –  the High Income Child Benefit Charge – unless individuals opted out before 7 January.

The government estimates it will save £1.5bn a year as a result of the changes.