How To Get Help With Your Childcare Costs

Nov 07

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working tax creditWhether you choose to return to work after the birth of your baby by choice or due to financial pressures, childcare costs can be astronomical.

In the UK, the average cost for a full time place at nursery is around £177. Which means some people will be paying considerably less, but others will be paying considerably more.

But there are ways to get help with your childcare costs so that you don’t end up going back to work just to pay to keep your child safe.

Childcare Tax Credits

Unlike most other types of credits that are only applicable to those out of work, Childcare Tax Credits are specifically designed for those that do have a job to reduce the cost of childcare.

But in reality, this tax credit is not actually called the Childcare Tax Credit, although that’s what most people call it. Instead it is titled the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit, much more official and far more difficult to remember!

How the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit Works

Basically, the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit is a sum of money that is paid to you on a weekly or monthly basis to help with the cost of raising your children.

Eligibility will depend on the number of hours you work, your salary and the number of children you have. And all credits must be applied for to ensure you get them.

Thousands of people every year miss out on this basic entitlement just because they don’t know about it or think they earn too much to be eligible. But even if you think this isn’t the case, isn’t it worth a few minutes of your time to ensure you couldn’t benefit?

How To Apply

The easiest way to find out if you are eligible is simply to pick up the phone and ring the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

As a guideline, Childcare Tax Credit is offered to individuals or couples who work a minimum of 16 hours per week with an average income of less than £41,000 per year.

But with different options for those with more than one child and for parents who have a disabled child, or are disabled themselves, even if you do not think you are eligible, it is always worth a call.

It’s Not Just For the Childminder

It is important to also realise that this support is not just for individuals who put their children in full time nursery. It can also help parents who have older children that go to afterschool clubs or summer camp.

Anyone with a child under 16 years of age, or under the age of 20 and in full time education, can apply. And there’s no penalty if you apply and you are not eligible, so why not give it a go.

Working Tax CreditRemember to Renew

Once you get your tax credit, the key to long term success is to make sure you sign and return the annual renewal statement when it comes through the door.

Thousands of people every year are losing their benefits, just because they don’t realise that the form has to go back.

In fact, the deadline at the moment is the 1st July every year, and if miss this deadline it can cause all sorts of problems.

Take Action Now

Though you may not want to think about it just yet, returning to work can be a difficult time for your whole family. So make sure you are as prepared as you can be using every means possible to get the best support.

And when you have a few moments putting your feet up with the PC, browse the HMRC Website and get the latest up to date information on all the support you are entitled to from Childcare Tax Credits.

You never know, it could make all the difference.