MSE News: Left out of pocket by the Tax-Free Childcare scheme? Here's how to claim



  • Guiguipo
    Guiguipo Posts: 2 Newbie
    edited 6 February 2018 at 2:28PM
    Thanks to MSE I've been able to get enough info and switch from CCV to TFC last summer.

    But OMG how confusing this beta website is to use! I wasted so much time on the phone with helpline with poor results. My experience after 5 months' using it is that I've been doing it wrong. A frustrating 'trial and error' time for me...

    From the MSE guide to TFC page I read: "Once your childcare bill exceeds the Government maximum, there's no more financial support. Say your childcare bill for one child is £1,000/month, you'd pay £800 and have £200 paid for !!!8211; after 10 months, once the £2,000 maximum support has been reached, you'll then have to pay full whack."

    Thing is it doesn't work like that does it? I seriously wish it would.

    It also doesn't help that while there is mention of up to £500 top up per child every 3 months, on the actual website when you pay in money I've got a message saying 'your max allowance amount is £675.82 (?) for this entitlement period'. Which one is it then?

    In my case I've got 2 daughters and living in Herts so above £1000 x 2 each month... Now my reasoning was I've got one invoice to pay (for each child). I get my salary in at the end of the month. I pay in 80% of the next month fees' amount in each of the accounts, then get the 20% top up and the total goes to the childcare provider. Right?

    I've done this for 4 months since September and taking the example ot the 2nd girl, was getting £215+ per month but on the 5th month I only had £68. I called them, got frustrated with being tossed from one person to the other who could only tell me well you've exceeded the limit. OK whatever, that's what I thought anyway. So by my calculations for the 6th month, I would still get another approx £70. (500 x2) - ((215 x 4) + 68) = 72

    This was yesterday by the way...

    I got £214!

    I spent 50 min on the phone (with 3 persons) to learn that I had started a new entitlement period (based on eligibility period dates) thus was starting on a new £500 max cycle. Had I paid before the end of last perdod (ie 2,5 weeks before, thanks for letting me know) I would have had the £68 top up I was expecting. So I'd appear to have lost out on some money. Great news when you're struggling each month with bills (childcare costs being a large share of):(

    It wasn't also very clear when exactly the next deadline was. My eligibility period is supposed to be 21st of Jan to 24th of April but lady on the phone said I needed to make my payments before the 20th March. What??? Is it just me not finding this clear or is everyone struggling as well?

    Now that my first one gets 30h and I no longer have approx £1000 x 2 but more like £500-600 and 1100£, I need to revise how I use this TFC (which in principle is great, in our case much better than the CCV) scheme and pay in the accounts to get to the top up limit allowed. As I can't shift from one to another. Argh. Sorry for the rant...
  • "CHANGE OF STEER" in compensation rules!

    An important update to the tax-free childcare scheme saga that I thought you all should know.

    Have had a long haul (over 6 months!) trying to register and then activate an account. During this time, my wife continued to get childcare vouchers (nobody told us otherwise and we didn't stop because our tax-free account was not up and running). When eventually the tax-free service was running (2 formal complaints later) I was told how to claim compensation for tax-free amount I had missed...
    BUT - told could only get the full amount for 3 months due to wife's vouchers! Leaving me several hundred pounds out of pocket.
    I raised a "Tier 2" complaint but still told this could not be changed.
    So I took it to the Adjudicator's office...

    Today I got a call from 03000530300 Childcare Services Customer Relations Team, who are responding to the adjudicator process. They told me there has been "a change of steer" and they now CAN pay me the difference for the time my wife was still getting vouchers!

    So I asked if they would be contacting all similarly affected customers, or if this had only come about because of the adjudicator contact? - No, they would not have contacted me and would only respond to fresh complaints. Despite my complaint having been formally closed by them unilaterally!

    So - if you have similarly been denied some of what you are do because you hadn't cancelled vouchers in time, then it is worth complaining again, as they won't be calling you!

  • I applied for tax free childcare and was rejected as it was deemed I wasn’t eligible. As far as I can research we met all criteria but the only thing I can think of as to why we were rejected was my husband works in ireland. We live in Northern Ireland and I work in Northern Ireland and pay the relevant taxes. My husband submits a uk tax return every year so his earnings are known to the Hrmc. Has anyone had similar problem and if so how did they resolve it?
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