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Help to Save customers receive £146 million in bonus payments

HMRC encourages customers to sign up to Help to Save, the government savings scheme, after revealing savers shared £146 million in bonus payments.

Help to Save customers have received £146 million in bonus payments since the scheme launched in September 2018 and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging individuals to take advantage of the generous savings scheme this World Savings Day (31 October).

Help to Save is the government savings scheme for low-income earners and offers savers a 50% bonus payment worth up to £1,200 over a maximum of 4 years. 

Latest figures reveal that almost 450,000 customers opened a Help to Save account between September 2018 and March 2023, with nearly £372.5 million paid into accounts during that time.

It takes less than 5 minutes to open an account. Customers can check eligibility and open an account on GOV.UK or via the HMRC app.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, yesterday said:

Hundreds of thousands of people are benefitting from Help to Save. It’s a great way of saving whatever you can and the government will top up your savings by 50%. It’s quick and easy to apply online or via the HMRC app. Just search ‘Help to Save’ on GOV.UK to find out more and apply today.

HMRC has prepared a video on YouTube to help customers find out more about Help to Save.

Help to Save savings explained

Customers can open a Help to Save account if they are receiving:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit  and are entitled to Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit and they (with their partner, if it is a joint claim) had take-home pay of £722.45 or more in their last monthly assessment period

Savers can deposit between between £1 and £50 each month. They will earn an extra 50 pence for every £1 saved and bonuses are paid in the second and fourth years of the account being opened. The bonus payment applies to the highest amount saved within the period. Savers who deposit the maximum amount of £2,400 will receive a bonus of £1,200 from the government.

Nearly 383,000 account holders across the UK have made a deposit into their accounts and the average monthly deposit is £48. More than 90% of savers invest the maximum £50 each month. They can make as many deposits they like each month via debit card, bank transfer or standing order. Money can be withdrawn at any time, although this may affect their 50% bonus payments.

Customers can easily manage their savings account online or through the HMRC app. They can check their balance, view savings and bonus details, find out when they’ll be paid a bonus, read any messages, set up a standing order or make withdrawals.

Victoria Todd, Head of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, yesterday said:

For those who are able to take part, the Help to Save account is a very attractive savings scheme, especially when the saver is able to maximise their bonuses. They can do this by paying in the maximum amount each month and making no withdrawals. Those who are eligible can still get bonus payments, even if they can’t save the maximum. That is why we recently welcomed the extension of the scheme to April 2025.

The government is offering Help for Households. Check GOV.UK to find out what cost of living support individuals could be eligible for.

Further information

More information about Help to Save

Latest statistics on Help to Save to March 2023 were released in June 2023

  Number of Accounts Opened to end-March 2023 Total value of deposits and percentage of total
UK Total 449,450 372,449,000 (100%)
England 381,600 317,001,000 (85%)
North East 20,150 15,887,000 (4%)
North West 59,400 48,703,000 (13%)
Yorkshire and The Humber 43,700 36,038,000 (10%)
East Midlands 37,650 31,509,000 (8%)
West Midlands 43,100 35,030,000 (9%)
East of England 38,600 32,302,000 (9%)
London 46,550 38,338,000 (10%)
South East 51,900 42,810,000 (11%)
South West 40,600 36,383,000 (10%)
Wales 22,000 18,248,000 (5%)
Scotland 31,600 25,662,000 (7%)
Northern Ireland 13,950 11,311,000 (3%)

Help to Save was launched in September 2018 and was due to end in September 2023 but it has been extended until April 2025. The extension was announced at Spring Budget on 15 March 2023.

How the bonus payments work:

  • after the first 2 years, customers will get a first bonus if they have been using their account to save. This bonus will be 50% of the highest balance saved.
  • after 4 years, they will get a final bonus if they continue to save. This bonus will be 50% of the difference between 2 amounts:
    • the highest balance saved in the first 2 years (years 1 and 2)
    • the highest balance saved in the last 2 years (years 3 and 4)
  • if their highest balance does not increase, they will not earn a final bonus.
  • the bonus is paid into their bank account, not their Help to Save account.


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