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can anyone explain child care voucers to me?

(9 Posts)
mustsleep Tue 25-Sep-07 11:14:15

hi have been looking into going back to work fulltime and have been thinking bout dental nursing spoke to a lady on the phone about it and she said whilst they didn't offer to cover childcare cost etc they did do the voucher scheme

does it matter how much you earn and if you can both claim them would it matter that dh is self employed?

also can you still claim working families tax credit for childcare costs and any other info would be great

also is there a way to work out how much you would actually end up paying am trying to work it all out and see if it's worth my going full time or if i will just end up workin to pay the nurserie costs

thanks sorry it's a bit long grin

mishymoo Tue 25-Sep-07 11:29:57

I work 35 hours per week and my husband works full time but our joint salary doesn't reach the Tax Office cut off point (I think it is 55k or 60k per year?)

Our DS is 2.3 and we do get working tax credit but it covers less than third of the nursery fees.

When DS turns 3, we can get a voucher from the government that pays for 5 x 2.5hour sessions per week but I believe this is only during term time?!

I think your work may do another child care scheme where they will take the nursery fees off your salary before you pay tax.

Not sure if this will stop or impact on any working tax credit you may be entitled to?

You could always ring the Child Benefits Office who organise the working tax credit although I have never found them that helpful over the phone. They won't give you any figures, etc.. Their number is 0845 300 3900

I am thinking of cutting my hours down to about 20 per week to save on the child care costs. The less hours you work, the more working tax credit you are awarded. But you can only claim this while DS is in nursery.

I hope I haven't confused you but I still don't understand most of this and you have to be so careful you don't end up with a bill from the tax office who has overpaid you!

evenhope Tue 25-Sep-07 11:32:24

Nursery vouchers are part of a salary sacrifice scheme. You forgo about £55 a week of your pay in exchange for the same amount of nursery vouchers. You save money because you don't pay tax or NI on that £55 pw, and you save more if you are a 40% tax payer. You can both claim them if each of you has an employer signed up to the scheme, but if your DH is self employed then he doesn't have an employer to get them from..

You have to tell the tax credits people that you get the vouchers and it does affect how much you get from them. There is a calculator on hmrc.gov.uk that tells you whether you are better off claiming the vouchers or WTC.

To find out how much you'd get try entitledto.com, or the calculator on the hmrc website.

HTH

callmeovercautious Tue 25-Sep-07 11:34:40

Yes the employer needs to sign up to the scheme. But in theory you can both claim them.

mustsleep Tue 25-Sep-07 11:36:36

i know this what i am scared of i used to work part time whle ds was little and they over paid me ( this was over three years ago) because dh earned £1500 more than the year before ( he is self emoplyed so a don;t know how they think you can estimate it) and we were told we owed £1800 and they cut our payments by two thirds and i had to give up work because i was just working to pay the nursery

when i am looking to start dd would just be starting nursery and ds is at school now - am trying to work it out without relying on any payments from wftc so if they d give us anything it's a bonus i just worked out that we would be earning under £40k a year and paying out £254 aweek during the school hols and wftc would award us £67 a week off this!! so wonlt rely on them to cover any costs!

was just thinking that this voucher scheme took the nursery costs off before tax would the nusery costs be 20% less is that right? hmm

mustsleep Tue 25-Sep-07 11:42:07

evenhope have looked on the website but i can only find the calculator fo rthe wftc where bouts do you look?

i think it's scandalous the way they work it out and it will be awful in the holidays because i will have to phone up and change all the nursery costs and then change them back after the hols they should go back to how they used to do it wen they gave you an award for six months and reassessed it at the end of that period

mustsleep Tue 25-Sep-07 14:25:37

also do you get the vouchers in th full amounnt that the nursery costs

and does that mean that if your nursery costs rduce you wage to below £5000 you won't pay tax on your wage?

nannynick Tue 25-Sep-07 19:28:35

Childcare Calculator - I think this is the calculator to use. You need quite a bit of information to fill it in, so make sure you have figures such as annual salary, weekly/monthly nursery cost, voucher amount employer is offering plus how using the voucher affects your salary - as in some circumstances it can make your salary below NMW.

mustsleep Tue 25-Sep-07 19:37:26

thanks that really helpful
it says that the vouchers will make me worse off

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