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Tax credits minimum hours needed to qualify

(11 Posts)
colette Wed 05-Aug-09 10:50:33

I work as an Adult Literacies Tutor both sessional - 4-8 hours a week and employed 6 hours a week. In the school holidays I am just working the 6 hours spread across 2 x 3 hours a day.
I phoned up Tax credits before I put dcs in holiday club at the school and told them the scenario and they said I would be entitled to a payment towards chilcare. So today I have phoned back with reg. no. to be told that I need to work 16 hours a week. DH works about 40 self- employed.
The problem is I am now working for nothing and they will take my income into account and reduce our tax credit accordingly ! I am also a p/t student (work related qualification) Dh's income has dropped drastically during the last year so finding out that we have paid out £58 pw extra is a bummer shock
I am off to buy school shoes and uniform today as they need them but am feeling that it is not worthwhile working iykwimsad
The dcs like the holiday club and I like working so would be interested in any advice or similar experiences
Thanks

colette Wed 05-Aug-09 10:51:34

sorry meant to say ' and employed on a permanent contact 6 hours a week'

lou031205 Wed 05-Aug-09 11:01:02

You do need to be working an average of 16 hours pw each. So you could work 16 & your DH 16, not need any childcare, but still put them in the holiday club because you fancy a break, and get financial help. A bit barmy, but true.

colette Wed 05-Aug-09 18:58:32

lou031205

Thanks for your reply . Sorry for the delay , the joys of looking for school uniform hmm
I could not understand why they had said they would pay it and today have said 'not unless you work 16 hours.' DH sometimes works 60 hours a week so if I need to work I need childcare for any of the hours I work. Do you know where it states this on their website ? Reading the website some of it seemed a bit ambiguous

lou031205 Wed 05-Aug-09 19:31:42

"If you are in a couple, you must both be aged 16 or over and either:
• both of you must usually work at least 16 hours a week or
• one partner must usually work at least 16 hours a week and the other partner must be

incapacitated or

an in-patient in hospital or

in prison (whether serving a custodial sentence or remanded in custody awaiting trial or sentence)."

From this HMRC leaflet

colette Wed 05-Aug-09 21:50:33

lou031205 thanks for your reply

I read that wording online and think that they will say I don't fall into any of those 3 catagories .

I am sure someone on mn mentioned averaging out 16 hrs a week over the course of the year and therefore being entitled just can't remember who.

costagirl Wed 05-Aug-09 21:55:10

It's a nightmare - I have put off for weeks phoning the Tax Credit people because it's so complicated! Like you, I'm a tutor, and work irregular hours - sometimes 16 hours a week, sometimes not. It's so difficult to put a quantity on the hours I work - try to average it out, but not easy. School hols I don't work much at all. Aaargh. Must phone them tomorrow......

colette Wed 05-Aug-09 22:04:07

Costagirl Good luck let me know how you get on. Dh is s/emp as well so it is really complicated

lou031205 Thu 06-Aug-09 08:44:53

Yes, the DMG does state that.

" Recognised Cycles Of Work (Info)

If there is a clear pattern to the claimants work then there is a recognised cycle. The claimant need not have worked a cycle for a recognised cycle to exist.

If a recognised cycle has been established at the date of claim, the hours should be averaged over the period of the cycle to determine if the claimant works at least 16 or 30 hours a week (whichever is appropriate).

Include any periods, within the cycle, in which no work is done, for example rest weeks but exclude any other absences such as holiday or unpaid meal breaks"

I think that given that there are about 13 weeks of school holidays, you would need to work consistently 20 hours per week during term time, so that with your 6 hours during holiday times, you average 16 hours per week. In other words, you need to make sure that your yearly hours total 52x16, so 832.

Examples

1. An employee works a regular fortnightly cycle of 15 hours followed by 20 hours each week. Over the fortnight, this averages 17.5 hours a week. The person is therefore in qualifying remunerative work.

2. An employee works a regular 4 weekly cycle of 20 hours, 20 hours, 20 hours and nil hours. Over the 4 week period, this averages 15 hours a week. The person is therefore not in qualifying remunerative work."

" Yearly Cycle Of Work (Info)

Term time and seasonal workers

Where a recognised yearly cycle of work exists and the person works at a school, educational establishment, or other place of employment on a seasonal basis

* Exclude from the calculation of average hours any periods of school holidays or similar vacations when the person does no work

To calculate the average weekly hours worked by a person who has a yearly cycle

* Divide the number of hours worked or contracted to work by the number of actual weeks worked

Where a person who has a yearly cycle is a new starter or has had a recent change in employment circumstances, follow the guidance in New Jobs.

Where a person who has a yearly cycle is not a new starter, but has not been in that employment for 52 weeks at the date of claim, follow the guidance in this subject as above."

From www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/ntcmanual/eligibility_remuneration/ntc0340330.htm

lou031205 Thu 06-Aug-09 08:46:06

"I think that given that there are about 13 weeks of school holidays, you would need to work consistently 20 hours per week during term time, so that with your 6 hours during holiday times, you average 16 hours per week. In other words, you need to make sure that your yearly hours total 52x16, so 832."

Sorry, that was my wording, in the wrong place. The rest is all direct quote from the linked Tax Credits Manual.

colette Thu 06-Aug-09 11:34:22

Thanks lou031205 I am not working enough hours now but at least i have more idea of how many I need to work to get help with childcare.

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