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Tax credits, childcare and vouchers

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Hello,

I'm just about to submit my first claim for tax credits (newly separated) and I need some advice about child care vouchers.

Up until now we've paid for childcare via the voucher scheme. I now want to claim the childcare element of tax credits but know I can't do both.

When should I stop claiming the vouchers?
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Comments

  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    It's entirely up to you when you stop the vouchers. You would then claim childcare help from tax credits from the date after you stop.
  • Icequeen99
    Icequeen99 Posts: 3,775 Forumite
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    It isn't just about when you stop claiming the childcare vouchers but also using them.

    So if you have built them up and continue using them you would need to deduct that amount when you tell tax credits your childcare costs.

    IQ
  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    Just to add also, have you checked that you are better off cancelling the vouchers?

    Or could you consider a combination of the two if your childcare is higher than the vouchers cover?
  • LittleMissMolly_2
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    Personally, given my experiences with Tax Credits, I would choose to stick with any alternative that was available rather than giving HMRC a chance to get things wrong.
  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    Personally, given my experiences with Tax Credits, I would choose to stick with any alternative that was available rather than giving HMRC a chance to get things wrong.

    I understand your daughter has had issues with her claim however, if tax credits will provide the best support to someone, they shouldn't be discouraged from claiming.

    In many cases tax credit assistance is far better than the tax relief offered from childcare vouchers.

    Many claims continue each year without issues. However mistakes do happen (as with any company).
  • LittleMissMolly_2
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    It's not just my daughter Darksparkle. I know a lot of people who claim Tax Credits and problems seem to be distressingly common. Not just over-payments, which are essentially built into the system to some extent (statistics say around 25% of all tax credit claims will be overpaid in any given tax year), especially for the self employed or anyone whose income varies considerably from year to year, but all sorts of other problems in terms of delays and data loss.

    It's a hugely complex system, which lacks flexibility or clarity. That's not a moral judgement - just an observation, and it's certainly not the fault of the people working within it (to whom I am always unfailingly polite). DWP aren't much better - it's hard to design and run an effective system of benefits when people's lives are often chaotic through no fault of their own and circumstances can change like the wind.
  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    It's not just my daughter Darksparkle. I know a lot of people who claim Tax Credits and problems seem to be distressingly common. Not just over-payments, which are essentially built into the system to some extent (statistics say around 25% of all tax credit claims will be overpaid in any given tax year), especially for the self employed or anyone whose income varies considerably from year to year, but all sorts of other problems in terms of delays and data loss.

    It's a hugely complex system, which lacks flexibility or clarity. That's not a moral judgement - just an observation, and it's certainly not the fault of the people working within it (to whom I am always unfailingly polite). DWP aren't much better - it's hard to design and run an effective system of benefits when people's lives are often chaotic through no fault of their own and circumstances can change like the wind.

    I'm not saying in the slightest that there aren't issues, I spend half my day on here trying to help those who do.

    But at the same time, people should not be put off claiming because of these issues. That doesn't help anyone.
  • LittleMissMolly_2
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    Fair point :)
  • sallybunny
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    So I've sent my application off for tax credits including childcare - do I wait until they say they will pay before stopping my vouchers?
  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    sallybunny wrote: »
    So I've sent my application off for tax credits including childcare - do I wait until they say they will pay before stopping my vouchers?

    If you are still receiving the vouchers, you cannot claim the childcare from tax credits.

    You can only claim once you've stopped the vouchers and the amounts are no longer covered by the vouchers.
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