HMRC urges parents and young people to check for hidden windfall

Parents and young people are encouraged to check whether they have a “hidden gold treasure” in the form of a child trust fund.

It’s been a year since the first account holders turned 18 and around 55,000 accounts fall due each month, said HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

This means that their owners can withdraw money or transfer savings to an adult Isa. Hundreds of thousands of accounts have been claimed so far.

Child trust funds have been set up for children born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011 who are still entitled to child benefit.

Parents or guardians set up accounts using government-provided vouchers. If the child’s parent did not open an account, HMRC opened one on behalf of the child.

Between 2002 and early 2011, about six million of the funds were opened by parents or legal guardians, and another million were set up by HMRC.

Treasury Secretary John Glen said, “If you are unsure if you have an account or where it is located, getting help from HMRC to find your provider online is easy.”

Some young people may not know they have funds, or some parents may have forgotten who they set up the account with. To help them find their accounts, HMRC has an online tool.

On request, HMRC will also provide alternative, non-digital ways to search for a provider.

At the age of 16, a child can manage the account themselves, but they cannot withdraw funds.

At the age of 18, the account becomes due and the child can withdraw money or move it to another savings account.

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