With the child benefit changes that have come into force on Monday 7th January 2013, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that around 200,000 people have opted out of receiving child benefit.

Out of the 1.2 million high-rate taxpayers who were due to lose all or part of their benefit, the department said that this figure was higher than expected.

The change effects families where one parent is earning £50,000 or more, part of the child benefit would be taken away, increasing steadily to 100 per cent of the benefit for those earning £60,000 or more.

The HMRC Chief Executive Lin Homer said “Because it has worked better than expected, the administration charge of implementing this change we think is only going to be 50 per cent of what we expected and this will mean cost-savings to the taxpayer”.

She added “We think it will cost us £11 million to raise the £2 billion that this change will raise.”

Previously, Ms Homer said that as of early December, 680,000 people had already looked at information on HMRC’s website.