HMRC is reminding parents that they may be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) to help pay for childcare costs. The scheme was used by almost 650,000 families during the 2022-23 tax year. This represented a significant increase over the previous year.
The TFC scheme can help parents of children aged up to 11 years old. The TFC scheme helps support working families with their childcare costs. There are many registered childcare providers including childminders, breakfast and after school clubs and approved play schemes signed up across the UK. Parents can pay into their account regularly and save up their TFC allowance to use during school holidays.
The TFC scheme provides for a government top-up on parental contributions. For every £8 contributed by parents an additional £2 top up payment will be funded by Government up to a maximum total of £10,000 per child per year. This will give parents an annual savings of up to £2,000 per child (and up to £4,000 for disabled children until the 1 September following their 16th birthday) in childcare costs.
The TFC scheme is open to all qualifying parents including the self-employed and those on a minimum wage. The scheme is also available to parents on paid sick leave as well as those on paid and unpaid statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave. In order to be eligible to use the scheme parents will have to be in work at least 16 hours per week and earn at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage. If either parent earns more than £100,000, both parents are unable to use the scheme. The scheme is also not available if the parents or carers are in receipt of tax credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers.