Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Iceland - Child benefits

This section contains information about child benefits in Iceland.

In what situation can I claim?

Families with children are entitled to various forms of assistance from both central and local authorities.

Child benefits (barnabætur) are paid to the supporters of children under 18, i.e. the person that the child is living with and is dependent upon at the end of the previous income year

EEA citizens

The supporters of children living in the EEA area may be entitled to child benefits in Iceland. If the child's supporter is domiciled in Iceland, is taxable in Iceland or insured according to Icelandic social security legislation, such person can apply for child benefits. Special rules apply to documentation that must be submitted with the application.

What conditions do I need to meet?

All persons who are domiciled and bear full and unlimited tax obligations in Iceland, and who support a child, are entitled to child benefits.

  • Means-tested child benefits are paid for each child under the age of 18;
  • As a rule, applications for child benefits are not necessary;
  • The amount of child benefits depends on the income of the supporters, their marital status and the number of children;
  • The Directorate of Internal Revenue is responsible for the calculation of child benefits and takes account of the previous year's tax returns;
  • If the child's supporters have separated, the person with the same domicile as the child will receive the benefits.
  • The higher the income of the supporters, the lower the amount of child benefits;
  • Child benefits are paid four times a year, 1 February, 1 May, 1 June and 1 October;
  • Child benefits are paid by the State Accounting Office (Fjársýsla ríkisins). The benefits are not regarded as income and are not, therefore, taxable.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

  • The Directorate of Internal Revenue calculates child benefit entitlements and takes account of tax returns from the previous year;
  • In order to be entitled to child benefits, you must have sent in a tax return in Iceland;
  • In other respect, child benefits are calculated automatically and need not be applied for;
  • Information on the amount of child benefits can be found on the website of the Directorate of Internal Revenue.

Jargon busters

Supporter: Only the supporters of children are entitled to child benefits. Account is first and foremost taken with whom the child resides at the end of the year according to the National Registry when determining who is regarded as the supporter, irrespective of whether the child has been supported for the entire year by that person or not. The person paying child support is not considered a supporter in this context.

Know your rights 

The following websites provide information on your rights. They are not, however, operated by the EU Commission and do not reflect the Commission's views:

Publications and websites operated by the EU Commission:

Family benefits: Rights of EU citizens overseas

Who do you need to contact?

Directorate of Internal Revenue
All Iceland (see local offices)
Tel: 442 1000
E-mail: rsk@rsk.is

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