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Tax-Free Childcare calculator

 

Robbie Spence
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Independent benefits adviser and trainer

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Re last week’s news at https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/parents-and-carers-should-seek-advice-before-applying-for-new-tax-free-chil is the http://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator any use in identifying when parents and carers on lower incomes who claim tax credits or universal credit is the right choice for them when compared to other options?

     
victoriatodd
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Welfare Rights Technical Officer, Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

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Hi Robbie

Sorry, just noticed this post.

Para 3.2.7 of our response to the Treasury Committee on childcare recently highlights some of our concerns about the calculator https://www.litrg.org.uk/sites/default/files/180209-LITRG-evidence-TSC-childcare-inquiry-FINAL.pdf

The calculator doesn’t cover UC. If you have static childcare costs and straightforward circumstances you should get the right answer but I would certainly like to see more warnings about those who shouldn’t use the calculator.

Victoria
LITRG

     
Charlie RNIB Legal Rights Service
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Hi Victoria, or anyone else who can help.

Can you point to the legislation that closes the salary sacrifice voucher scheme from 5 April 2018? I thought I had signed up to my work one in February but there has been a ‘hitch’ and I’ve been told it’s too late. Apologies for hijacking this post for (potential) personal gain!

     
victoriatodd
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Hi Charlie

The good news is that an extension has been announced for vouchers (and directly contracted childcare) until October 2018 so it shouldn’t be too late. HMRC hadn’t actually laid the regulations needed to set the date as 6 April 2018. The legislation is in Sections 63 and 64 Childcare Payments Act - they amend the relevant parts of the tax legislation dealing with vouchers and directly contracted childcare - but they need further regulations to set the ‘relevant day’ which was due to be 6 April 2018 and is now sometime in October 2018.

Hope that helps

Victoria

     
Jeremy Barker
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victoriatodd - 01 March 2018 06:12 PM

Hi Robbie

Sorry, just noticed this post.

Para 3.2.7 of our response to the Treasury Committee on childcare recently highlights some of our concerns about the calculator https://www.litrg.org.uk/sites/default/files/180209-LITRG-evidence-TSC-childcare-inquiry-FINAL.pdf

The calculator doesn’t cover UC. If you have static childcare costs and straightforward circumstances you should get the right answer but I would certainly like to see more warnings about those who shouldn’t use the calculator.

Victoria
LITRG

I have just had a play around with the calculator. It appears to have been changed because it now asks if you get UC and, if you say you receive UC, when you have calculated the tax-free childcare entitlement it warns “Your Universal Credit will stop if you apply for Tax-Free Childcare.”

     
victoriatodd
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Thanks Jeremy. Yes, the calculator now provides that warning, when I said it doesn’t cover UC i meant in respect of someone new to it all - it doesn’t calculate potential UC entitlement including the childcare element.

Victoria

     
Jeremy Barker
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Citizens Advice North Lincolnshire

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It would be nice if it did that but then it wouldn’t be anything like as easy and simple to use.