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TC qualifying conditions for Free school lunches and NHS exemption

EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Joined: 10 March 2014

Hello Comrades,

Back on the scene having been off on mat leave.

Wondering whether anyone can help me figure out - Is there a disparity between the self-employed income conditions for qualifying for full help for those in receipt of Tax Credits when it comes to FREE SCHOOL LUNCHES and NHS CHARGES?

Looking at CPAG 2022/23 p.651 (NHS) and p.851 (Free school lunches).

Free school meals; says you can get if you are in receipt of CTC/WTC and annual taxable income of £16190.  Backtracking through the legal references it seems clear that this corresponds with TC regs and so would include your net profit from self-employment.

NHS exemption:  says you can get if you are in receipt of CTC/WTC and gross annual income for tax credits must not exceed £15276.  Backtracking through the legal references I am getting a bit lost and can’t find exactly how gross annual income is defined and whether that would include your net profit or gross turnover from self-employment.

Need to be clear on the rules so I can advised SE tax credit claimants.

Any advice gratefuly received as always.

EKS

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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NHS exemptions and free school meals both depend completely on annual income for tax credits purposes. So, for example, if the £2,500 disregard applies in tax credits, it will also affect free school meals and the NHS exemptions. (Your confusion re. NHS exemptions will probably be cleared up if you look at the interpretation reg in each set of regulations, where “relevant income” is defined by reference to tax credits legislation.)

But remember, those entitled to WTC are anyway not entitled to free school meals.

EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Many thanks Charles, your input always appreciated.

I think I am clear on how the authorities catch up with you in relation to NHS exemption and tax credits ( https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/nhs-tax-credit-exemption-certificates)

Don’t suppose you know how they police the qualifying criteria for free school lunches?

EKS

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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The parent/guardian has to apply for free school lunches. At the point of application, the school will have to confirm eligibility, usually through the Local Authority who have a tool which can confirm eligibility by checking other government systems. Often the parent/guardian can apply straight to the Council.

At the moment, once you become entitled to free school lunches, you keep the eligibility until at least the end of that stage of schooling (primary or secondary), so there is no further need to check.

EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Total Posts: 264

Joined: 10 March 2014

Thanks Charles ????