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Is Your Child (Or Grandchild) Owed Money By HMRC?


CTF & Junior ISA Accounts

If your child or grandchild is aged between 7 and 16 then you could make their birthday this year a little extra special. 

Why just that age band? 

Because the government might well owe some money to children who were born between 1 September 2002 and August 3, 2010! 

It all goes back to a budget decision in 2002. The then Labour government decided they wanted to encourage parents to save regularly on behalf of their children and so they announced that they would give £250 to every child born from 1 September 2002 (hence aged 16 as of now, March 2019).

A further £250 was to be given to each child on their seventh birthday and the scheme – called Child Trust Funds (CTFs) – ran until January 2 2011. 

It was a nice gesture, but from August 3, 2010 the scheme was stopped and from then until January 2, 2011, parents were instead issued one voucher worth £50 for each new born baby. That makes the youngest qualifying aged 7 this year.

The seed funding provided by the government was available to parents to be invested on their child’s behalf, either using a stakeholder account, a share account or a cash account. The additional good news is that the CTFs were tax-free, so any interest applied in the interim, or gain in underlying share values, has been added to the capital sum in their account without tax liabilities.

The reason why all this could be good news for your child’s (or grandchild’s) next birthday is that 6.3 million accounts were opened using these vouchers in the relevant time period, but only 4.4 million were opened by parents. The remaining 1.9 million accounts were set up by the government on the child’s behalf, as parents of these children hadn’t claimed the vouchers within 12 months of their child’s date of birth. 

Those 1.9 million accounts are now waiting to be claimed.

According to OneFamily, which claims to be the largest CTF provider, the average amount held in its CTFs that were set up in 2002 is now £2,175.  In some cases it will be more, as parents on low incomes (as calculated by the government at the time of birth) were actually given two vouchers of £500 each.

So please do check: you have nothing to lose and potentially a four-figure sum to gain! 

if your child was born within the relevant dates – that’s on or after 1 September 2002 and before 2 August 2010 – but you don’t remember being sent the vouchers by HMRC, then you can now search if your child has an unclaimed CTF account by going online at 

First, you’ll need to set up a Government Gateway account ¬–¬¬ which you need to request through

If you ultimately discover there is an account in your child’s name – Happy Birthday to them! 

You wont be able to access the money until your child turns 18, but in the meantime you could transfer the funds into a Junior ISA (which charges lower annual management fees than a CTF). That means you can at least choose how their money is invested, until they claim it for their own on their 18th birthday.

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