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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Sam M
    • By Former MSE Sam M 14th Mar 17, 3:56 PM
    • 238Posts
    • 159Thanks
    Former MSE Sam M
    Guide discussion: Tax-Free Childcare
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 3:56 PM
    Guide discussion: Tax-Free Childcare 14th Mar 17 at 3:56 PM

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
Page 4
    • hmd1987
    • By hmd1987 10th Jul 17, 9:47 AM
    • 411 Posts
    • 510 Thanks
    hmd1987
    after 12 weeks I've finally got access to the tax free account. So on Saturday I sent faster payments from my bank account into the tax free account (2 children). As of now, the money still hasn't appeared?

    Anyone know how long it is supposed to take?
    • hotnuts21
    • By hotnuts21 17th Jul 17, 3:35 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    hotnuts21
    I basically have the same question as already asked by these two

    My daughter will start nursery in January 2018 just before she is 11 months old with a cost of about £730/month.

    Can we sign up for tax-free childcare now (May 2017) and start saving or does it only work when they start their childcare? If the latter, is the saving per tax year, and if so could we max out the account for the first three months and then start again in April?
    Originally posted by JonathanB
    Hi guys...

    Forgive me if I am being stupid but my son won't be in childcare until he's two, next June. I am eligible for tax free childcare so am I able to open an account now to save ahead of him starting preschool?

    Thanks
    by Emjay9272663430
    My son wont be starting till next April, but we have more income at the moment than we will have after January, therefore im thinking of getting a head start on the savings now and building up a buffer, a bit like you can with Childcare vouchers, I just cant see if its allowed, in fact the details of what you can and cant do are quite sparse, could I just fill the account with 8K now and not touch it till next year?
    • amysea85
    • By amysea85 21st Jul 17, 4:16 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    amysea85
    Entitlement Period
    I'm really struggling to find anywhere what the 'entitlement period' is. I have an account and it tells me I have £xxx left in this period....but I don't know when this period ends!
    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 21st Jul 17, 5:27 PM
    • 4,228 Posts
    • 6,931 Thanks
    Mupette
    If you are moving from childcare vouchers to tfc, you have 3 months grace to have both.

    If you leave childcare vouchers now and decide to go back later, do it before April 2018, Government says that after that, you can't return.

    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))

    • IrishGypsy
    • By IrishGypsy 2nd Aug 17, 12:57 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    IrishGypsy
    Once you've set up the Gateway Account and supplied the application details what, is supposed, to happen next? Do I have to wait for the application to be manually verified? Is the site/process still very wonky and unpredictable? Thanks in advance.

    Edit: I've noticed that if you use the URL: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/gg/sign-in it'll take you straight to the log-in page. Cutting out that needless mini-questionnaire every time.
    Last edited by IrishGypsy; 02-08-2017 at 1:08 PM. Reason: Add URL
    • KGAelle
    • By KGAelle 7th Aug 17, 7:55 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    KGAelle
    TFC vs childcare vouchers
    Trying to find out which scheme is best for my family. My wife currently does the salary sacrifice scheme through her employer. Childcare is about £400 per month, we are eligible for Tax Free Childcare but I'm not sure how to work out which is best for us? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 8th Aug 17, 4:43 PM
    • 2,285 Posts
    • 2,811 Thanks
    chelseablue
    Trying to find out which scheme is best for my family. My wife currently does the salary sacrifice scheme through her employer. Childcare is about £400 per month, we are eligible for Tax Free Childcare but I'm not sure how to work out which is best for us? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you
    Originally posted by KGAelle
    I looked into it for us and it said if you have just 1 child and childcare costs of less than £9,000 a year I'd be better off sticking with the vouchers
    Mortgage starting balance 26.02.16 £231,294
    Mortgage after Year 1 £225,078
    • Mumofthreesue
    • By Mumofthreesue 15th Aug 17, 1:33 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Mumofthreesue
    When can I join with older children?
    I was keen to sign up to Tax Free Childcare as I have three children, but as the youngest two are 5 I cannot yet. I'm keen to know when I can sign up, the MSE website says by the end of the calendar year, and I have registered for e-mail updates, but am frustrated by the lack of information as to when I'll be able to join.


    One question I had which has been answered by helpful comments on this thread, is when do I have to stop the vouchers when I do sign up, and I see we have a 3 month grace period, that is useful, haven't seen that information elsewhere.


    Two other questions - will the voucher scheme continue to run indefinitely, assuming the employer continues with it? I saw a comment about "less than 2 years to run" on this website, but I assume that was for new entrants to enrol, rather than the schemes having to shut down (though presumably they will have to shut down within 16 years as if you signed up in March 2018 with a new-born then you'd no longer be eligible once they turn 16).
    Also, is there a time limit on using the funds in the Tax Free Childcare account? And can you use them for children aged 12 and over, even though you have accumulated them for children under 12, if that makes sense? (i.e. when my oldest is 12 can I use funds from my account accumulated because I have 2 other children under 12, to cover her costs?). Thanks.
    • CrashJPMorgan
    • By CrashJPMorgan 24th Aug 17, 8:34 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    CrashJPMorgan
    Latest problem I've had is that I topped up my account with some money and on the same day it usually shows "HMRC top up £X" but no top up this time. It says I've got money left in my entitlement period, so not sure what's going on.
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 29th Aug 17, 6:25 PM
    • 2,285 Posts
    • 2,811 Thanks
    chelseablue
    Received the invoice from the nursery, first one since becoming eligible for the 30 hours a week.

    Gone from £850 a month to £470
    Mortgage starting balance 26.02.16 £231,294
    Mortgage after Year 1 £225,078
    • vik254
    • By vik254 31st Aug 17, 7:44 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    vik254
    £500 top up removed?
    Hi. I have just put £2163 into my TFC account (its the first time I have put money into the account - I just opened it a couple of days back). HMRC topped it up by £540.75. I thought there was a £500 top up limit every 3 months?
    • dan1981
    • By dan1981 4th Sep 17, 10:41 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dan1981
    I'm pretty sure we're better off using the voucher scheme offered by both of our employees at the moment - could someone please confirm?

    I earn circa 47k plus a non-guaranteed bonus of approx £3k

    Wife earns approx 14k part time. Both have access to voucher schemes through our employers.

    Childcare costs are around £120 / week for a 9 month old.

    Thanks
    • mrbg07546
    • By mrbg07546 4th Sep 17, 7:08 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    mrbg07546
    Latest problem I've had is that I topped up my account with some money and on the same day it usually shows "HMRC top up £X" but no top up this time. It says I've got money left in my entitlement period, so not sure what's going on.
    Originally posted by CrashJPMorgan
    I had that. They mistakingly disabled. Y tax free childcare as wife was on meternity leave. Annoying
    • rpc
    • By rpc 5th Sep 17, 12:58 PM
    • 2,297 Posts
    • 3,492 Thanks
    rpc
    I'm pretty sure we're better off using the voucher scheme offered by both of our employees at the moment - could someone please confirm?

    I earn circa 47k plus a non-guaranteed bonus of approx £3k

    Wife earns approx 14k part time. Both have access to voucher schemes through our employers.

    Childcare costs are around £120 / week for a 9 month old.
    Originally posted by dan1981
    So on annual childcare costs of £6240, you will save £1248 with tax free childcare.

    With vouchers, you save £1560 (assuming you are a higher rate taxpayer and that your wife is still in the basic rate band after deductions). The bonus is ignored for the purpose of your earnings assessment, pension deductions etc would be included to bring the salary down.

    So yes, vouchers are better on a basic analysis.
    • sheerhunnery
    • By sheerhunnery 16th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sheerhunnery
    Can anyone tell me if tax-free childcare has the same limitations as the vouchers please? I get no benefit from the vouchers because I earn only slightly above the minimum wage. Does the tax-free scheme mean the government won’t top it up if I put money in for the same reasons? My wife who earns much more than me gets the full voucher help but I get nothing as an individual! I can’t find information on this anywhere.
    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 17th Oct 17, 12:00 AM
    • 4,228 Posts
    • 6,931 Thanks
    Mupette
    www.giveyourselfachoice.com

    sheerhunnery

    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))

    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 17th Oct 17, 12:14 AM
    • 4,228 Posts
    • 6,931 Thanks
    Mupette
    How many are aware that if you have a childcare voucher account and currently not taking a voucher will not be able to return to get anymore vouchers after April?

    Or that after April you will not be able to sign up to childcare vouchers.

    If you are not taking a voucher now but intend to later, give your voucher company a call and enquire about ..

    A, can you reduce your salary sacrifice to the minimum amount (could be as little as £20 pm rather than the full £243, especially at a time when you don't want to take the full £243) (also ask about your employer's cut off point so you know what date you have to make any changes to your order to take effect in the same month.

    B, Does your employer accept refunds? If you have a stash of vouchers and think that will do you, what about cashing them back in, taking the minimum amount at the same time. (you will have to pay tax and NI on the voucher value)

    Also note if you are taking the 30 hours or 15 hours, you can still take the childcare vouchers. TFC are becoming misleading on their applications, slightly pushing you to sign up to TFC as well, be aware you don't have to and don't be bullied.


    Your vouchers are valid until the September after your child's 15th Birthday, (16 if disabled)

    So not just nursery, childminder's or nanny's

    You have After school clubs, breakfast clubs, out of school clubs, holiday clubs, activity holidays with PGL / King Camps (quite a few of these companies take vouchers as payments. Also non curricular things like Music Lessons.


    So don't forget come April if you havent taken a voucher and your order is showing as expired, you will not be allowed back.

    Anyone on Mat/pat leave or about to you can halt your vouchers for one year, give a date to cancel as long as it is before April, then ask for your voucher company to restart your order with you future date, you do have to do it in a 12 month period so March 18 - Feb 19

    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))

    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 17th Oct 17, 12:22 AM
    • 4,228 Posts
    • 6,931 Thanks
    Mupette
    I was keen to sign up to Tax Free Childcare as I have three children, but as the youngest two are 5 I cannot yet. I'm keen to know when I can sign up, the MSE website says by the end of the calendar year, and I have registered for e-mail updates, but am frustrated by the lack of information as to when I'll be able to join. Depending on your area Anyone who is eligible should be able to claim by April, it's still in trials in Scotland and Wales


    One question I had which has been answered by helpful comments on this thread, is when do I have to stop the vouchers when I do sign up, and I see we have a 3 month grace period, that is useful, haven't seen that information elsewhere. yes you have 3 months voucher run on from the date of TFC sign up


    Two other questions - will the voucher scheme continue to run indefinitely, assuming the employer continues with it? Depends on what the employer wants to do but the voucher company i work for has no plans to stop running, potentially we can go for another 15 years from April at the max. I saw a comment about "less than 2 years to run" on this website, but I assume that was for new entrants to enrol, rather than the schemes having to shut down (though presumably they will have to shut down within 16 years as if you signed up in March 2018 with a new-born then you'd no longer be eligible once they turn 16).
    Also, is there a time limit on using the funds in the Tax Free Childcare account? And can you use them for children aged 12 and over, even though you have accumulated them for children under 12, if that makes sense? (i.e. when my oldest is 12 can I use funds from my account accumulated because I have 2 other children under 12, to cover her costs?). Thanks.
    Originally posted by Mumofthreesue

    See comments in red

    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))

    • robertoegg
    • By robertoegg 23rd Oct 17, 10:53 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    robertoegg
    If for instance I was earning £50,000, but upped my pension contributions through salary sacrifice to bring my earnings down to £45,000 - would I fall into the basic rate tax band for childcare vouchers?
    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 24th Oct 17, 9:50 PM
    • 4,228 Posts
    • 6,931 Thanks
    Mupette
    even at £45k you will not get £243, it's up to £243, its based around the hours too, there are online calculators so you can see what you could get.

    will the pension contributions come out pre or post tax?

    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))

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