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Home Ed & Child Tax Credits

(5 Posts)
MissMarplesBloomers Tue 18-Mar-14 08:47:50

Hi all advice from those who know please!!

My 17 yr old had to drop out of 6th form last year due to long term illness.

Much better now thank god but she is being HE'd due to there being NOTHING for a 17 yr old to study for 2 terms while she waits to rejoin sixth form-we're doing the best we can & she is enjoying what we do manage to organise although it's probably not completely full time as yet, due to her still convalescing & she tires easily.

I am having an argument with HMRC (as knew I would) about claiming tax credits as they want proof that she is in FTNAE (full time non advanced education) ...fair enough but what?

The LEA are useless, but I am hoping the fact she has registered with the careers guidance folks & is persuing some online study through them might be OK- plu a letter from the GP confirming her illness ,plus her registration documents for college for Sept when we get them.

What do others do-or do you bite the bullet & just do without as I fear I may have to until Sept.

I do work but min wage & unable to get FT at the moment & every penny counts, esp with more trips out & study expenses.

FionaJNicholson Tue 18-Mar-14 13:13:42

I would expect the argument with HMRC not to be about whether home education "counts" for 16+ tax credits (because it does) but to be about the fact that the home education was only begun AFTER the 16th birthday.

You can't "prove" that a young person is being home educated, the tax office just has to take your word for it.

I successfully claimed Child Benefit and Tax Credits on behalf of my autonomously home educated son until he turned 20 last year.

I've got more information on my website edyourself (sorry I'm not allowed to link to the actual page) but basically you don't have to be doing a course or exams, but there does have to be a minimum number of hours of "guided learning" not just the young person 'studying at home'

MissMarplesBloomers Tue 18-Mar-14 13:43:17

Thanks Fiona.

She was in FTNAE up until Nov, doing 6th form so ticking the boxes OK, it's from then till July they won't accept.

By "guided learning" does that mean something supervised by an external body?

I have found an HMRC guidance document that says you can claim an "interruption in education" for up to 6 months following illness so if I can have a word with the GP & get a letter that plus a copy if registration for next year might have to do as proof rather than the H.E

My brain is hurting!! grin

FionaJNicholson Tue 18-Mar-14 16:01:49

Guided learning could be supervised by the parent, it doesn't have to be external in the sense of outside the home or family (I put that I was "teaching" my son because the language seemed to fit the form though not my mental model of autonomous home ed)

Yes I've seen about medical interruptions eg here www.revenuebenefits.org.uk/tax-credits/guidance/how-do-tax-credits-work/entitlement/ctc-elements/#Interruptions to education but have just been going through the HMRC decision manuals and can't find the relevant regs www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/tcmanual/TCM0032180.htm

bochead Tue 18-Mar-14 23:46:48

What about signing her up for a couple of MOOC courses?

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/

https://www.edx.org/

https://www.coursera.org/

You get an email confirmation that you are enrolled that you could send to the tax credits bods together with her enrollment confirmation + GP's letter explaining her illness in line with the medical interruptions gumph.

Some courses are even verified by the institutions (tho I wouldn't bother if funds are tight, just keep emails).

A couple of courses in the same subject areas as those she wants to study in 6th form come September would probably be genuinely useful to her from a purely educational perspective. Keep course emails, marks for assignments etc as proof of guided learning.

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