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Child Care Vouchers & WTC - Baffled

(15 Posts)
YaMaYaMa Thu 11-Aug-11 12:54:43

Hi, I am getting myself into a bit of state about this as I can't figure out if we'll be better or worse off, and money is so tight that I cant afford to lose a couple of quid.

We earn approx £26k between us, and get approx £40 a month wtc. I go back to work in a few weeks and dd's nursery fees are £300 per month (2 days a week). If I enter the voucher scheme for the full £243 a month, will this mean we're better or worse off?

My worry is that we'd lose the £40 wtc which we get mid-month and is a week's shop. I've no idea if the vouchers would save me much to be worth losing the actual money in hand, if you like.

I've been up all with baby so am thicker than normal, plus the person I spoke to a Tax Credits was supremely unhelpful and told me she's wouldnt be able to help me work out if we'd be better or worse off.

I dont know where to start.

Pootles2010 Thu 11-Aug-11 12:59:21

Did tax credits woman say you'd deff lose your wtc?

Can your dh claim vouchers at his work? If so, you could cover the cost of them totally from your vouchers.

The amount the vouchers save is the tax you'd normally pay on that amount. So, if your fees are £300, assuming you're on basic tax rate, which iirc is around a third, you'd save £100 a month.

If you'd def lose all your wtc, that would mean you were forfeiting £160 wtc for £100 saving. If that's all correct, then you're better off sticking as you are.

However, wouldn't you get child tax credits as well?

I'm only just getting my head around all this myself, sure more knowledgeable others will be along soon!

YaMaYaMa Thu 11-Aug-11 13:24:04

Hi, thanks for replying! No, the woman I spoke to said she wouldnt be able to tell me if I would lose them or not or if we'd be better off or not confused

We only get £40 a month tax credit, so based on that, we'd definitlely be better off if we'd save £100 a month like you said. We actually dont get wtc, sorry got mixed up, it is ctc. So, would I still get child tax credit anyway then, do you think?

I am so confused about all of this blush

suzikettles Thu 11-Aug-11 13:26:05

If you're only getting the basic rate of CTC (I suspect so, because we do and it's around £40 per month), then you'll still get it if you buy the Child Care Vouchers.

Pootles2010 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:28:16

Oh sorry thought you said £40 a week! Hmm £40 a month - helpful!

That's awful the woman at tc was so rubbish. Was it the helpline you rung?

YaMaYaMa Thu 11-Aug-11 13:48:31

Yes, it was the helpline and previously they're been helpful. This time - not so much!

Yes, it's basic CTC, thank you both. All I wanted to know is if we'd lose it if we got the vouchers and she said she couldnt tell me.

Thank you very much for replying, I'd worked myself up into a right one before I posted! Feel much clamer now grin

suzikettles Thu 11-Aug-11 13:50:23

Ah, ok. Well then it's 100% definitely completely unaffected by the vouchers.

DaisySteiner Thu 11-Aug-11 13:57:54

HMRC also have a calculator which tells you whether you'd be better off claiming for childcare as part of your tax credits claim or using the salary sacrifice vouchers.

Jeb28 Fri 12-Aug-11 14:13:16

Suzikettles is correct you will still get your £40 a month. And I don't think you'd be able to claim for the child care element of tax credits if you work under 16 hours a week anyway. This was the case with me and when I increased my hours to 21 it worked out that we were better off claiming the child care element of tax credits rather than claiming the vouchers (based on a salary of under £40k) anything over this I think it works out better to take the vouchers. Does anyone else know if that's correct?

YaMaYaMa Fri 12-Aug-11 18:20:50

Gosh, I looked into getting help with childcare costs, and it wasn't worth it at all. I work 21 hours a week, mil is taking dd for one day a week and she'll be in nursery for 2 days, which is £300 a month. The help we'd get is £16 a month towards that. So vouchers look like they will certainly be better for us, I was so upset when I realised how little help there is.

Jeb28 Fri 12-Aug-11 18:29:18

Mine was based on a joint salary of under £40k is your joint salary more than that? If so maybe that's why

YaMaYaMa Fri 12-Aug-11 18:57:45

No, our joint salary is 26k! The woman i spoke to was nice and really apologetic but said we'd only get £4 a week towards nursery costs. Maybe it's because we've only got 1 child? We're actually better off with me being on stat maternity pay confused Maybe I should call back and ask them to check it again?

mranchovy Tue 16-Aug-11 08:28:35

Use the calculator DaisySteiner linked to - it works well and is intended for exactly your situation.

YaMaYaMa Tue 16-Aug-11 09:37:35

I called the Tax Credits helpline again and spoke to someone who said the £4 a week was incorrect and that we are entitled to £47 a week! I put the phone down absolutely thrilled but thought I'd better call back to check it again and someone else went through it with me and said we'd get £22 a week towards childcare confused

Will do calculator now. I tried a few days ago but laptop kept overheating and switching off. Thanks everyone smile

Jeb28 Wed 17-Aug-11 09:42:07

I've always got different amounts from the online calculators when I put my details in to what I actually get. I also found that different people told me different amounts too over the phone which was very frustrating as I needed to know whether to accept the childcare vouchers we were offered at work or not. I'll be very annoyed if they suddendly decide that they've over paid us and ask for any money back. At my annual review a couple of weeks ago I went through the amounts with them again and the figure hasn't changed though. Maybe there are other factors that are different for both of us, I have two children.

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