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HMRC and Tax Credits

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Tax credits & benefits for work
4 replies 2.7K views
much2brokemuch2broke Forumite
9 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Tax credits & benefits for work
I have a bit of a problem. I’m not sure if I am posting in the right place but would be grateful for any advice.

I have had a letter from HMRC (tax credits) stating that they would like to review my claim and asking me to provide receipts and invoices from my childcare provider, as well as any contracts.

As I pay the childminder cash, I don’t have a bank trail or any receipts, so I approached my childminder, who I have been using for many years, and requested this information from her. At first she was very reluctant to provide it but because I became insistent, she admitted that she was not a ‘registered’ childminder. I know I should have checked properly but I was so grateful to find anyone could look after my daughter since I work very unsocialable hours.

I’m not sure how to approach the situation with HMRC as I don’t want to get into trouble but I don’t want her to either. I understand that I will probably have to repay the childcare element of the overpayment back but I’m really scared that they may prosecute me for not reasonably checking that the childminder was actually registered.

Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Replies

  • tyllwydtyllwyd Forumite
    5.5K posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like you might have opened a real can of worms.

    Not all childminders have to be registered: http://www.askwiltshire.org/advice-centre/childcare/unregistered-childcare/ but I guess that the exceptions you've listed don't apply in your case?

    So your childminder is working unregistered - I'm not sure if HMRC would report her to OFSTED but I would guess there's every chance they might.

    Then there is the question of paying cash - it isn't illegal for you to pay cash but it does raise the question of whether she is paying tax. If she isn't (and if it seems more than likely that she isn't), then I would have thought HMRC would be very interested to find that out.

    Whether you would get into trouble for paying someone cash and then trying to claim tax credits - I don't know, but you might be able to get some advice on the 'benefits and tax' board.
  • Ne5555Ne5555 Forumite
    128 posts
    When you claimed hmrc asks you ofsted number.
    What number did you give them to get tax credits?
  • gooner14gooner14 Forumite
    2 posts
    my wife is a registered childminder and all of the parents of the children she looks after have had similar letters, so dont think you have been singled out, but as previously said you have to give the OFSTED number of any childminder to the tax credits when you claim, so not sure how this has been missed, im guessing that if they arent registered then they arent insured and probably not CRB checked and arent declaring their income to the tax man, first thing to do would be to look for someone else asap, telephone tax credits and explain the situation, then speak to the HMRC and report them to the tax man, also make sure you look at the OFSTED certificate and CRB certificate of any childminder you go to, you wouldnt trust anyone off the street with your child so dont think that because they are calling themselves a childminder that they are safe.
  • I know someone that this happened to and they had to pay £15000 back to tax credits!
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