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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 havenít already, join the forum to reply. If you arenít sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
Page 5
    • rpc
    • By rpc 27th Oct 17, 1:22 PM
    • 2,304 Posts
    • 3,499 Thanks
    rpc
    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?
    Originally posted by robertoegg
    Your employer will carry out a basic earnings assessment at the start of the tax year - it remains valid for the whole tax year regardless of changes in circumstances.

    Pension payments do reduce your income for the purposes of the assessment.

    Relief at source and net pay arrangements all count the same, but NB a personal pension (other than a GPP through your employer) doesn't count because it is nothing to do with your employer.

    Full details online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employer-supported-childcare
    • jetlagged
    • By jetlagged 9th Nov 17, 12:31 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jetlagged
    Our second child is due to arrive at the end of this year. Would I be able to benefit from the £2k TFC credit for each children but just use all the money in the account to pay for childcare for yourger one later on next year after shared parental leave? Or does the money need to be used for the specific child it's paid in for?
    • melkka
    • By melkka 12th Nov 17, 9:07 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    melkka
    I wonder if you could help with this...
    My husband workplace doesn't offer vouchers however mine does. Our childcare bills are £650 per month. Would we both be better in the TFC or can he join and I remain on the voucher scheme?
    • Pixelgray
    • By Pixelgray 6th Dec 17, 7:13 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Pixelgray
    HELP!! Tax free childcare account issues
    I applied for my tax free childcare accounts ages ago and was issued with one each for both of my children.
    At the time my youngest wasnít eligible for 30 free hours due to being too young but my oldest was issued with a code (despite being at school already).
    I reapplied for my youngest when she became eligible for the 30 hours, BIG MISTAKE. Computer now sees me as trying to make multiple applications for the same child. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurance and they are trying to get a fix for this round of people applying for codes.
    Despite this happening I was assured that I could use the TFC part of the account. I waited a couple of months as I wanted to make sure my company had stopped making payments to my voucher company. Last month was the first month this happened.
    I paid money into my account on the 27th November. Itís wasnt topped up. I waited a couple of days and called up to see if the payment was definitely scheduled.
    On the 29th November I called up (who the hell am I calling anyway? HRMC?) and was informed that I couldnít use the account as I couldnít reconfirm because of the additional application. I asked for my money back to be told that I would have to wait 3-5 days at which point I said this was unacceptable, after much to-ing and fro-ing it was agreed they would do a CHAPS payment to me.
    I was assured it would happen, that a manager would call me that afternoon to confirm the payment. That didnít happen and the money didnít arrive.
    I called again on 29th and at this point lost the will to live. I agreed to a manual payment (taking 3-5 days) as I couldnít be bothered to argue again to someone else.
    I called again today (6th December) to check the status of this payment to be told nothing was scheduled.
    New person told me that they would arrange for a CHAPS payment today, it hasnít arrived yet again.
    I am talking about £1300, £1300 I have had to find Ďspareí to pay my childcare provider who I have a legal obligation to. £1300 Ďspareí I have had to find just before Christmas.
    My questions are : 1) who do I complain to? I went through to their complaints department who just apologised, could do nothing else, offered no solutions.
    2) how do I get my money back. I have no money, I am now in debt and have credit card bills racking up.
    Thanks in advance, from a slightly stressed mum of two!
    • IvysMom
    • By IvysMom 7th Dec 17, 12:56 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    IvysMom
    Hi Pixelgray


    I feel your pain I have been trying to set up my account for 4 months have put in two official complaints and made numerous phone calls all of which have been ignored. The Adjudicators Office deals with complaints about the HMRC but you need to go through two tiers of complaints with the HRMC first. You can complain to the HRMC online, another phone call mentioning that you will be speaking to the Adjudicators Office may help. The HMRC also has a facebook page were you could complain, although don't expect a response to it.


    Really hope that this is sorted for you soon, it is so stressful dealing with the HMRC.
    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 8th Dec 17, 8:03 AM
    • 4,255 Posts
    • 6,945 Thanks
    Mupette
    I wonder if you could help with this...
    My husband workplace doesn't offer vouchers however mine does. Our childcare bills are £650 per month. Would we both be better in the TFC or can he join and I remain on the voucher scheme?
    Originally posted by melkka
    Unfortunately TFC is family based so if one of you goes, you both go.
    Childcare Vouchers are single based, therefore both of you could have vouchers if your husband's employer had a scheme.

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

    • Danielson1971
    • By Danielson1971 11th Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Danielson1971
    Hello,


    I too am one of the people that is unable to use this system due to a technical error at the HMRC end. I won't go into detail however suffice to say this is by far the worst experience I have ever had for customer service and complaint handling. My issue started in September and has not been rectified, despite all of my calls, complaints and attempts to get some kind of answer. No one is accountable for the issue at HMRC and no one calls back, which leaves me in limbo whilst the issue is resolved. Each month I now have to find from nowhere an additional £320 to pay for nursery fees (overall bill is £1600 per month).
    The staff are polite but helpless. There is no escalation procedure and there is no way of talking to anyone in authority. In desperation, I have contacted my MP - I should not have to do that. Even he is ignoring me now. So, I'd like to know how many other people are affected by this and why it is taking so long for someone to at the very least call me or email me to tell me when it will be fixed. And why is there no suitable complaints process in place? And why are the managers who are responsible not being held accountable for this disaster. And why does no one seem interested in helping? So may questions, and all potential avenues for communication/resolution are frankly dead ends.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 11th Dec 17, 6:30 PM
    • 4,687 Posts
    • 3,519 Thanks
    sheramber
    If it is a technical problem it will be nothing to do with the managers. It will be computer programming problems which will be the responsibility of an outside company who are contracted to provide the system.

    You can claim compensation https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childcare-service-compensation

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/tax-free-childcare-scheme-delayed-parents-older-children/
    • Danielson1971
    • By Danielson1971 11th Dec 17, 7:47 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Danielson1971
    Thank you Sheramber, yes I quite agree with your post.


    I have read many of these links and made 3 compensation claims now.
    My 2nd one (made on 3rd November for £400) is still to be paid back to me.
    My third likewise, although the claim has only just been made.


    My issue remains unresolved and no one takes responsibility or ever replies to me.
    In my opinion the managers are still responsible for providing a high quality of customer service with acceptable levels of communication and they are falling well below this.
    A proper escalation process would be a start and regular communication as to the status of the issue would also be the minimum I would expect.
    But instead nothing.

    I have complained 3 times using an on line tool and each time I receive an automated email stating I will receive a reply back within 5 working days.
    My first complaint was made in early October and I am yet to receive any communication or answers to the complaint.


    The adjudicator's office is unable to deal with an escalation because they need an answer from HMRC first. But HMRC don't ever reply. The system is clearly not fit for purpose therefore.


    No wonder I feel so angry about it and I can't believe I am the only one who feels the same way or is having such issues.


    I'd love to find out how many other people are affected and how this could be moved up HMRC agenda for the good of all of us.
    • IvysMom
    • By IvysMom 13th Dec 17, 6:32 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    IvysMom
    The system is shambolic to say the least. I have written to the Adjudicators Office and awaiting a response. I have put two complaints into HMRC online both of which they say have been responded to, I havent heard a thing. As far as Im concerned that id taking my complaint to tier 2 of their complaints system so have passed it to the Adjudicators Office. Not holding out much hope for a response from them either, you cant even email them everything has to be done by letter! What century are they living in?
    • Danielson1971
    • By Danielson1971 14th Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Danielson1971
    Ivy's mum, please let me know how you get on.


    Exactly the same thing has happened to me.
    I have put in 3 complaints (first being early October)
    2 of my complaints have been closed and say they have been responded to (they haven't, I haven't heard anything).
    When I called the adjudicators office they rather coldly told me they could not help as they had to have details of the response. It's part of their SLA with HMRC apparently.
    Thus the escalation process for complaining is fundamentally flawed.
    They told me to write to my MP, which I did.


    But silence from him.


    I am also still waiting on my compensation claim from 3rd November for £400 and I am currently over £700 out of pocket.


    There is literally no way of getting anybody to answer my queries, provide any updates and take responsibility.
    There is no working escalation procedure.


    Why should we have to put with this?
    • IvysMom
    • By IvysMom 14th Dec 17, 1:12 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    IvysMom
    Danielson1971


    Thank you for responding at least I know I am not alone, I will let you know how I get on and please keep me updated from your side. Its shocking that we are having to go through this.


    With regard to the compensation, I haven't claimed this yet as I was told that you could only claim once so was waiting to do this once everything is resolved. Have you been able to make more than one claim? I'm currently £500 out of pocket.


    We really need to know how to escalate this, MSE Team do you have any suggestions?
    • Danielson1971
    • By Danielson1971 14th Dec 17, 1:25 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Danielson1971
    No, you are not alone and I suspect there are 1000's if not 10's of thousands that are going through the same thing, but they don't know how to complain or just put up with it.
    However there is no way of knowing how many people are affected without setting up some kind of facebook or social media campaign (for which I am happy to try and organise but don't know if many of my contacts would share, or best way to go about this)
    I don't do twitter. Maybe twitter would work actually as it is of course instant. We need someone with some clout to take this on and champion the cause. (I don't have any clout I'm afraid!)
    I did write to MSE to ask them if they wanted to follow this up but not heard back.
    I have written to The Guardian (they ran a piece earlier in the year).
    I have written to my MP


    No one is interested!


    Regarding compensation, I have not been told there is a limit on the number of claims you can make, as long as they are justified of course but I may be wrong.
    The only reason I have now submitted 3 claims is because each month I am paying £320 out of my own pocket to make up for the amount that Tax free childcare is supposed to provide to me.
    So my first claim was paid, leaving an additional 2 claims unpaid (plus additional expenses, I am owed over £700).
    I will be making a 4th claim at the start of January as fees are due for nursery on 1st Jan (over £1600 a month for me)
    • bigvernzxsw
    • By bigvernzxsw 18th Dec 17, 11:24 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    bigvernzxsw
    Oh Dear, I'm lost (i think)

    Both myself and wife work - Childcare costs relatively low at about 3k per year. Both employers offer Childcare Vouchers which i thought was good news. I'm higher rate tax payer, she is lower rate. So i was thinking we'd both apply for vouchers, with me getting £124 per week as Salary sacrifice (which also helps as in the 50 - 60k child benefit trap) and her the rest. But THEN realised as she is on minimum wage and working 43 hour week, any salary sacrifice would put her below min wage and therefore not eligible for vouchers - i think???

    So, if that is the case does anyone know whether I can continue to receive the Vouchers, and she could sign up for the tax-free child care scheme when they finally bother to open it?
    • Mupette
    • By Mupette 22nd Dec 17, 8:15 AM
    • 4,255 Posts
    • 6,945 Thanks
    Mupette
    Oh Dear, I'm lost (i think)

    Both myself and wife work - Childcare costs relatively low at about 3k per year. Both employers offer Childcare Vouchers which i thought was good news. I'm higher rate tax payer, she is lower rate. So i was thinking we'd both apply for vouchers, with me getting £124 per week as Salary sacrifice (which also helps as in the 50 - 60k child benefit trap) and her the rest. But THEN realised as she is on minimum wage and working 43 hour week, any salary sacrifice would put her below min wage and therefore not eligible for vouchers - i think???

    So, if that is the case does anyone know whether I can continue to receive the Vouchers, and she could sign up for the tax-free child care scheme when they finally bother to open it?
    Originally posted by bigvernzxsw
    In short no.

    TFC is family based if one goes over, you all go over.

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

    • Siriki
    • By Siriki 29th Dec 17, 10:12 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Siriki
    How does is work if one of us has a childcare voucher scheme through work and one of us doesn't?
    • morrisa1985
    • By morrisa1985 11th Jan 18, 11:10 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    morrisa1985
    I've just signed my up for tax free childcare and my little boy is 19 months old, he's been going to nursery full time since he was 10 months old. Can we get anything backdated from what I could have saved the past 9 months?
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 11th Jan 18, 12:40 PM
    • 4,687 Posts
    • 3,519 Thanks
    sheramber
    How does is work if one of us has a childcare voucher scheme through work and one of us doesn't?
    Originally posted by Siriki
    You can only claim one lot of vouchers or you join the Tx free scheme where both of you ( and anybody else) can pay into the account.

    You cannot use both schemes.

    You cannot claim tax credits if you join the tax free scheme.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 11th Jan 18, 12:47 PM
    • 4,687 Posts
    • 3,519 Thanks
    sheramber
    I've just signed my up for tax free childcare and my little boy is 19 months old, he's been going to nursery full time since he was 10 months old. Can we get anything backdated from what I could have saved the past 9 months?
    Originally posted by morrisa1985
    The Government add 20p for every 80p you pay into the account, up to £2000 support a year.

    The money is paid electronically to the child carer direct from the account.

    You can only get the top up on money you have paid in.

    You can withdraw the money but then the 20p top up will be taken back.
    • IvysMom
    • By IvysMom 26th Jan 18, 1:20 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    IvysMom
    HMRC are a joke
    After almost 6 months, 2 official complaints and numerous phone calls to HMRC I can still not access my Tax Free Childcare account. I have complained to my MP and The Adjudicators office and am getting nowhere. So today I have put in a Freedom on Information Request for the following:




    1) The number of individuals who have made 1st tier complaints through your complaints process due to not being able to access their Tax Free Childcare Account.


    2) The number of individuals who have made 2nd tier complaints through your complaints process due to not being able to access their tax free childcare account.


    3) The number of complaints that the Adjudicators Office have investigated due to individuals not being able to access their tax free childcare account.
    4) The number of compensation payments that has been made to individuals who could not complete their application for tax free childcare account and how much money has been paid in compensation due to this.


    5) The number of compensation payments that has been made to individuals who could not access their tax free childcare account and how much money has been paid in compensation due to this.


    6) The contact details of Angela McDonald Director General for Customer Services as this is not available on the website and after phoning HMRC staff have been unable to provide it.


    Unfortunately I am now going to be so much a pain in the backside to them that hopefully will just phone me and get this sorted which is all I wanted 6 months ago.





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