Families who benefit from government funded childcare support were given a boost today as the Government announced that they would not lose out due to COVID-19.
Working parents or carers, who are eligible for Tax-Free Childcare but have temporarily fallen below the minimum income requirement as a result of the pandemic, will continue to receive financial support until 31 October.
Critical workers who may exceed the income threshold for the 2020-21 tax year, as a result of working more to play a vital role in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, will continue to receive support this tax year.
Through Tax-Free Childcare, families will receive a £2 government top-up for every £8 they pay into their child’s account, up to the value of £2,000 per child, or £4,000 per disabled child in financial support. The money can be used towards the cost of qualifying childcare for a child up to the age of 11 or 17 for a disabled child.
HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, Angela MacDonald, said:
“HMRC has been providing vital financial support to families during a time when it has been needed most and we will continue to help them as they gradually transition back to a normal life.
“We want to make sure families will not be adversely affected by any abrupt change in circumstances, which is why we have extended available support through Tax-Free Childcare to give families that extra boost.”
To continue receiving the financial support for Tax-Free Childcare, parents need to reconfirm their eligibility every three months.
HMRC has continued to help Working Tax Credit claimants with the cost of childcare throughout the pandemic. Parents and carers in receipt of the childcare element of Working Tax Credits who have continued to pay childcare fees they have incurred, despite their children being unable to access childcare because of COVID-19, must notify HMRC if they expect this to continue beyond 7 September. After this date HMRC will no longer pay the childcare element for those in this position.
Claimants should update HMRC as soon as possible if their childcare stops or if the costs for their childcare decrease or end.
Parents and carers can report such changes by calling the tax credits helpline.
- You can check your eligibility for Tax-Free Childcare in relation to COVID-19 online. If your childcare circumstances have changed recently, then log into your childcare account, check your details and reconfirm as usual to avoid delays later.
- Definition of critical workers affected by coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#critical-workers
- Parents and carers who are Working Tax Credits customers should check their eligibility and updated guidance relating to coronavirus at https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/tax-credits
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