Free Childcare and Childcare Discount

Complex Posts: 13
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Apologies if this is in the wrong area of the forum, admins please move if you feel there is somewhere more suitable. 

My query relates to the governments free childcare/ discounted childcare scheme and the eligibility criteria. The specific eligibility criteria I'm not clear on is the 'net adjusted income' having to be less than £100,000 for a member of the household. 

The wording online and in the regulations states the expected net adjusted income (my emphasis added). However, it doesn't then go on to state what happens if your circumstances change during the tax year. 

In contrast child benefit is worded differently and is a lot more certain i.e. if the net adjusted income is or isn't above the thresholds then you are or are not eligible and in theory this could vary/ change during a year and have an impact. 

In short my query is, what does "expected" mean and what if is then different i.e. base salary £95,000 but I then receive a non-guaranteed bonus of £15,000 which then pushes my net adjusted income to >£100k. Can I really "expect" the bonus if it is not a guaranteed condition of my employment? Further, what if I receive a pay rise during the year I've claimed eligibility? 

I can't seem to find any factual answer to the above, I can make assumptions but I would have expected this to be captured somewhere otherwise it feels like a slight loophole that provides a lack of clarity. 



  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,636
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    As I understand it

    Each 3 months you confirm that your expected income will not exceed the limit.  If you then receive a bonus during these three months that puts your annual income over the limit, then you cannot confirm that you will not earn under the limit for the rest of the year.

    If you confirmed in good faith,  then no further action will be taken, apart from you not being eligible for the rest of the tax year.

    If you could have reason to expect your income to go over, such as your employer had advised you previously that you would receive a bonus then you could not, in good faith, confirm that your income for the year would not be over the limit.  In such a case you would be asked to pay it back.
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