Government Tax-free childcare accounts

Government Tax-free childcare accounts:

The government are concerned about the lack of take up of tax-free childcare accounts, with HMRC estimating that less than 22% of families eligible for the scheme had joined in March 2021. With many parents returning to work following the pandemic they should be encouraged to set up a tax free childcare account to help with their childcare costs. HMRC are suggesting that employers should make their employees aware of the support available to families with young children. With many parents working from home for part of the week tax free childcare accounts are more flexible than childcare vouchers.

Childcare vouchers continue to be available for employees who joined a qualifying scheme before 4 October 2018 and applies to children up to age 16.

Tax-free childcare is available for working families (including the self-employed) who are not receiving tax credits, universal credit or childcare vouchers. It can also be used at the same time as the 15 or 30 hours of free childcare in England. Key points:

  • For working families, including the self-employed, in the UK
  • Earning at least £142 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage) each
  • Who aren’t receiving Tax Credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers
  • With children aged 0-11 (or 0-16 if disabled)
  • For every £8 you pay into an online account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year

Note that the tax-free childcare scheme is not available if either partner expects to individually earn more than £100,000 a year.

For every £8 paid into an online account, the government adds an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year (£4,000 for disabled children). For example, for childcare costs of £500 per child per month, the family would pay £400 into their childcare account and the government would pay in £100 per child. This would be an annual saving of £1,200 per child.

The account can be used to pay for nursery fees, breakfast clubs, after school clubs, summer camps and OFSTED registered childminders.

For an overview of government childcare support see:

Need more information?

Do you need further guidance on the tax-free childcare accounts available. We offer a wide range of services which are unique to your business. Our team of chartered accountants have a wealth of experience in a broad range of sectors, from construction and property to the charity sector. Our team work hard to ensure they create smart and effective tax-efficient solutions for start-ups to optimise growth and help them succeed. If you want to learn more about how the team can help or simply want some start-up advice from a trusted accountant do hesitate to contact us. For more information please do hesitate to contact us on 0161 962 1855. Alternatively you can email us using the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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