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After school care at independent school &a tax credits

(19 Posts)
B15Girl Sun 04-Sep-16 17:52:11

My children were lucky enough to be left some money to pay for private schooling. We could not afford to send them without this. As we don't earn that much we qualify for tax credits and I have been claiming for childcare for my one child. The school includes before and after school care in the fees so I have calculated the hourly rate and multiplied it by the number of hours he goes when I am at work. I explained this when I added it to my claim and they said this was fine. I am now being investigated by Concentrix and have sent the info and copies of the bills but now I am panicking that this isnt allowed. HMRC won't talk to me about childcare as its with Concentrix and I can never get through to them. It is making me ill worrying that they have paid me money I shouldn't have. I have been waiting since May to get an answer. Does it matter that after school care isn't billed separately? They are registered with ISI, the independent version of OFSTED and the have a reference number. Does anyone know the answer?

Balletgirlmum Sun 04-Sep-16 17:59:03

I assume this is tax credits childcare element?

The school has to decide whether or not to become part of that scheme. Some independent schools are - many are not.

cloudyday99 Sun 04-Sep-16 17:59:47

I think you can claim for before and after school care at private schools. But if it's not billed separately then you're on rather thin ice just pro rata-ing the school fees. School lessons are taught by professional teachers paid reasonable salaries. Whereas most after school clubs are run much more cheaply and staffed by lower paid supervisors, so probably cost less per hour

I'd ask the school is they could give you a break down of after school costs if I were you, as that would make things clearer.

Your also can't claim tax credits for costs that are being met by someone else, so if the money you're being given for school fees covers the full amount including the after school care, then you're not allowed to claim tax credits for it

Balletgirlmum Sun 04-Sep-16 18:01:28

You can't claim at all schools. Dds school doesn't do it.

Cabrinha Sun 04-Sep-16 18:12:01

What do you mean by school including the wraparound care in the fees?
Do you mean that it is a separate price for wraparound but they bill it all together?
Or that it's actually fully inclusive - a child attending pays the same as one who does not attend?
If the latter, then there is no charge so I don't see how you could be entitled to TC for that.

Have you spoken to you school? They could probably tell you if they do it much quicker than the response from Concentrix. (why didn't you in May?) Also they can give you the actual cost of childcare if it isn't inclusive in fees - so you could adjust your TC claim in the meantime. Then if there is a mistake and money to pay back, you're not increasing it.

B15Girl Sun 04-Sep-16 18:32:36

You pay for it even if you don't use it. When I called HMRC them they said it was ok and added it for me. They even told me how to calculate it, that was last September. If I'm not entitled then I owe about £3k and I can't get them to stop paying it as its with Concentrix and you can't change anything. I would never had added it if I wasn't entitled. The whole system Needs looking at would rather not have anything than be put in this situation. Which scheme does the school have to be a part of?

microscope Sun 04-Sep-16 20:28:18

They even told me how to calculate it,

In writing? then you should be fine. Not in writing - trickier. good luck with it all.

NyronNosworthy Sun 04-Sep-16 20:34:42

As long as the costs are not for "compulsory education"

Tax credits manual shows what can and cannot be included in the Link above

BizzyFizzy Sun 04-Sep-16 20:38:21

Speak to the bursar at the school.

B15Girl Sun 04-Sep-16 20:58:45

It doesn't form part of his compulsory education so that's good, thank you for the link. When I added it I did it by phone but when I checked it after my Concentrix letter I did it by the on line chat and they said they thought it was ok and I have the screen shots of that. I also read up on it on the HMRC website and I have attached below what I found. I just hope that Concentrix agree it's ok.

cloudyday99 Sun 04-Sep-16 21:48:05

Are you actually paying the costs though? Or does it all come out of the DC's legacy?

Kanga59 Sun 04-Sep-16 22:27:10

It sounds like it's all part of the school fees, so you're not actually paying for wrap around care. What is a school day for your day fees?

At our school, 8-3:30 is the fees. Breakfast club is billed extra and shown on my termly invoice. Similarly for after school clubs and care.

I know another Indy school local to me, where the day fees are for 8-5 however.

You'll know if you're paying for wrap around care or not. If you are, there shouldn't be a problem.

B15Girl Sun 04-Sep-16 22:53:32

We pay some of the costs which would cover the wrap around. Breakfast club is 8-840am and after school club 3.40-6pm and it is detailed as this on the prospectus but it is not a separate item on the bill, it is included in the fees. I am only claiming for the hours I use. I think it is arguable either way and I hope in my favour!

Babyroobs Mon 05-Sep-16 17:03:20

Is the school fees money in a trust account specifically in the kids names? When tax credits switch over to Universal credit any savings etc in your name will be considered as capital ( wheras currently only income is counted for tax credit calculations.) Might be worth bearing in mind.

Kanga59 Mon 05-Sep-16 17:50:19

On that case I personally think you're wanting two bites of the same apple. The fees aren't paid for by you bit you want to make a claim for benefits as if they were. what childcare costs have you actually incurred...? none

B15Girl Mon 05-Sep-16 18:29:36

I don't see why it's two bites of the Apple. We pay a proportion of the fees so you could say that bit covers the wrap around so we have incurred a cost and it is only that bit we are claiming for, not the rest. I am only claiming for out of normal school hours care not the fees. I asked all these questions when I made the claim and they didn't say no or that I couldn't. I asked if they were sure and they said yes. However this was on the phone not in writing so other than the online chat screen shots I have no written proof. I thought with tax credits they only take into account the income from any capital you have (minus the first £300) The capital is only taken into account with other benefits such as JSA and I'm not claiming that. The amount I am claiming for is not huge, £29 per week for 6hrs child care. If I could ever get through to Concentrix I would ask them to put me out of my misery as the stress it is causing is just not worth it.

cloudyday99 Mon 05-Sep-16 18:45:14

£29 for 6 hours childcare doesn't sound unreasonable to me. And I would have thought screen shots are reasonable evidence that you were told it was OK. (You're better organised than I've ever been in taking screen shots!)

You're right about capital not mattering for tax credits, so you're fine for now. But a previous poster was also right in warning you that when universal credit comes in, you capital will be counted, just like it is for JSA at the moment so you may lose money. Not an issue just yet though

Babyroobs Mon 05-Sep-16 19:12:27

Yes I was just trying to warn you that when Universal credit comes into play ( if it ever does) then any lump sum of capital that you have in your name will affect the benefit you receive. You could see any benefits wiped out if it is in your name. Then again if you put it into your kids names in a junior ISA or similar then you won't be able to easily access it to pay the school fees. Not sure on other options for making sure the money isn't considered, but it may be something you need to look into well ahead.

B15Girl Mon 05-Sep-16 19:19:23

Next year DS will be at senior school where there is no wrap around care so won't be claiming any childcare so that will be the end of that! There must be simpler way of doing the whole tax credit thing. It seems massively over complicated to me with way too many ambiguities and too much room for error. I have been straight with them but I'm have a horrible feeling they will backtrack....

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