Tax-free childcare: HMRC urges families to get support for the summer – are you eligible?

Martin Lewis reminds parents to confirm tax-free childcare

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HMRC can provide tax-free childcare support to families which can go towards a number of commitments or costs. Today, the Government urged families to take advantage of this where they can as the summer months continue.

HMRC detailed: “Working families, don’t forget you can use tax-free childcare to help pay towards your childcare costs over the summer. This includes holiday clubs, childminders [and] sports activities.”

Eligible claimants of tax-free childcare support can get up £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of their children to help with the costs of childcare.

This goes up to £1,000 every three months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

If a person gets tax-free childcare, they’ll be set up with an online childcare account for their child and For every £8 paid into this account, the Government will pay in £2 to use to pay the provider(s).

READ MORE: HMRC tax credits renewals are due by Saturday – what’s needed?

HMRC

HMRC urged families to claim support (Image: GETTY)

This support can be used for approved childcare, which includes:

  • Childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • After school clubs and play schemes

Childcare providers must be signed up to the scheme before claimants can pay them and benefit from the Government’s support.

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Eligibility for tax-free childcare depends on a number of factors such as if the parent(s) are working, their income levels, the child’s age and circumstances and the claimant’s immigration status.

Claimants can usually get the support if they (and their partner if they have one) are in work, on sick leave or annual leave, or on shared parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

For those who are not working, they may still be eligible if their partner is working and they get certain benefits such as incapacity benefit.

Claimants will also need to earn a certain amount over the three months following a claim.

HMRC

HMRC also manages child benefit (Image: EXPRESS)

This is at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week on average.

For self-employed claimants who are unsure they’ll make enough profit to qualify, they can use an average of how much they expect to make over the current tax year.

The child being claimed for must also be 11 or under and usually live with the claimant.

It should be noted if a claimant is in receipt of certain benefits, they will not be entitled to tax-free childcare support at all.

People cannot get tax-free childcare at the same time as claiming working tax credit, child tax credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers.

Applications for tax-free childcare can be made online through the Government’s website.

When claiming, applicants will need certain details at hand including National Insurance numbers or a unique taxpayer reference if they’re self-employed.

The Government assures it only takes 20 minutes to apply.

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