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High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) research

NatCen Social Research have been asked by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to speak to people who are liable for the HICBC (a tax charge on child benefit payments for higher income families). The aim of the study is to learn more about our customers’ experience with the HICBC and what could be done to make the process easier.

What is the HICBC?

The HICBC is a tax charge which applies to anyone with an income over £50,000, who gets Child Benefit or whose partner gets it.

What would taking part involve?

The research will involve taking part in an in-depth interview with a researcher from NatCen Social Research, an independent, non-profit organisation. You can find out more about us here.

The interview will take the form of a discussion and will last up to 45 minutes using Microsoft Teams video platform or by telephone if you prefer.

At the start of the interview we will ask your permission to audio record the discussion, so we have an accurate record of what was said.

What will you ask me about?

We will ask about:

  • A bit about yourself and your circumstances
  • What you know and think about the HICBC
  • Your actions in relation to the charge and reasons
  • Any information or support you have accessed relating to the HICBC
  • What you think would help parents to understand the HICBC requirements more easily

We’re interested in speaking with people who have paid the charge and those who have not. There are no right or wrong answers. We’re just interested in hearing what you think.

What you tell us will remain confidential and anonymous and we will not tell anyone, including HMRC, that you have taken part or what you have said. Your decision to take part in the research will have no impact on your child benefit claim or your liability for the charge, nor will you face any repercussions should you decide to withdraw from the study.

The findings, which will not include any names or identifiable information, will help HMRC understand the different perspectives of parents eligible for the HICBC and how to support them.

Do I have to take part?

Your views are very important, but it’s up to you whether you take part. If you decide to take part, you don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to, and you can end the interview at any time.

If you take part in an interview, we will donate a gift of £30 to one of the following charities, as a token of appreciation for your time:

How we will use your data

We will treat the information you give us in the strictest confidence under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The results collected will be used for research purposes only.

All information will be anonymised before being analysed, and personal data will only be accessible to the research team. At the end of the research, your personal information will be securely deleted.

You can find out more about how we will use your data in our privacy notice here.

Where can I find out more?

If you have any questions about the project you can contact Stevie-Louise McGuinness, Project Manager at