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Any tax experts childcare vouchers?

(30 Posts)
Blu Mon 18-Apr-05 12:56:28

I am keen to take advantage of the new gvt tax and NI-free childcare vouchers, and we have researched it through ACCOR. However, we cannot get through to them, canot get q's answered and April payday - and my nursery bill - is looming. Our Finance Mgr says he has researched it and that we don't need to go through a company like ACCOR, but the money sacrificed from my salary can go straight to the nursery.

If this is true, that would be great - the organisation I work with is a small and a regd charity, so the savings on the cost of joining the ACCOR scheme is important.

But is it true?

IMO the gvt / IR have been really sloppy in spreading info about this.

binkie Mon 18-Apr-05 13:12:37

Blu - have you had a look at the nannytax website? They are generally very good at detailed info and don't usually hide it in a subscriber-only section.

Also bestbear.co.uk may help?

majorstress Mon 18-Apr-05 13:18:21

Hi can't help but you aren't the only one struggling with this scheme and who hasn't got it going yet, I think it started on April 6 and you and DP if you have one, can BOTH claim, which is £800 to £1000 annual savings EACH on tax and NI-A LOT of DOSH!!!

I thought you HAD to go through some outside agency because my employer (large) doesn't want the bother of doing it themselves, obviously-any question I ask I am just referred back to the ACCOR website. Neither my nursery (can't be bothered) nor my nanny (never heard of it) are correctly registered for me to use it yet, the after school club is only £16 a week (can I do partial vouchers???) and I will have to do all the legwork myself it seems-but I am too busy-or I wouldn't need all these people!!!

zebraX Mon 18-Apr-05 13:20:46

I thnk Busybees may be able to help.

elliott Mon 18-Apr-05 13:22:42

majorstress yes you can do partial vouchers.
Blu I don't know the answer to your question, but since salary sacrifice arrangements are not new and can be done for other kinds of benefits, maybe your finance guy is right. Perhaps the main reason for the intermediary in this case is to enable the multitude of childcare providers to be paid in a secure way?
And as I'm sure you're aware, your employer woudl get NI rebate too which is the carrot for them to participate.

Prufrock Mon 18-Apr-05 13:50:53

Blu - pretty sure that the money doesn't have to go through an agency - it just can't go into your bank account. So you can be paid either in vouchers, or cash straight from your employer to your nursery

LunarSea Mon 18-Apr-05 14:02:53

Yep - you can do it by the company contracting direct with the nursery, as long as they pay, not you - see paragraph 2 here . BUT they have to offer the same thing to all employees, so if it's a big organisation it could get quite complex for them to do this with lots of different nurseries.

Blu Mon 18-Apr-05 14:12:39

Thank you all v much.

I have asked q's on that site, Binkie. Zebra, the thing with BB's is that they operate a scheme for thier nurseries, only, don't they?

I have asked our Finance Mgr to pay the money directly to the nursery anyway, rather than to me, because I think that that makes it clearer.

Accor have done a good job - the only public advertising about this new benefit I have seen for employees is by Accor - I honestly thought they were the official gvt agency for dealing with it. Doh!

Marina Mon 18-Apr-05 14:16:50

No, Busy Bees vouchers are accepted by non Busy Bees nurseries Blu, if that helps at all. My employer has just signed up with BB and my Asquith Court nursery accepts their vouchers as well as Accor's.

Marina Mon 18-Apr-05 14:17:44

I thought that too re Accor. I wonder what made my employer go for Busy bees...we have a presentation about it from them on Friday if there is anything you want me to ask BB...

hoxtonchick Mon 18-Apr-05 14:24:11

i'm lobbying my employers about this. found a good factsheet on the daycare trust website here .

Marina Mon 18-Apr-05 14:25:21

Keep at it HC. If my lot can cough yours certainly can. Still a bit stunned tbh, it's going to help us quite a bit

batters Mon 18-Apr-05 14:27:21

blu I have info on leapfrog vouchers. If you email me your address I'll put it in the post tonight. It might be useful.

batters Mon 18-Apr-05 14:29:48

ooh and congrats Marina!

elliott Mon 18-Apr-05 14:51:20

Marina my employer is a university and also uses busy bees - maybe it just caught on in the HE sector?
they are just the same as accor - you can use the vouchers with any childcare.
I'm in slight trepidation for the end of the month to see if it all works out!
Will make a lot of difference to us too - especially the fact that both partners can claim.
I don't know why there hasn't been more publicity about it - there's quite a lot in the press - it does appear that its not really all that progressive in that better off families will do better, thoes claiming tax credits could actually be worse off....

Marina Mon 18-Apr-05 15:12:16

Ah, well we just miss out on the tax credits so it will help us a little, especially if dh's employer cracks under his determined campaign (= me mailing him saying, have you forwarded that bl**dy link to your HR Dept yet [resigned eye-rolling emoticon])

majorstress Mon 18-Apr-05 15:17:10

I second the vote for eye-rolling emoticon, perhaps set to insert itself automatically after every mention of dh....

Why won't he do anything? (Except moan about our LACK of money). Unless you count asking someone junior in HR, who said, I don't know. So mission completed, as far as dh is concerned.

Marina Mon 18-Apr-05 15:19:03

I am so glad it is not just me majorstress. Why are these men so nesh about this? It might save him a grand a year! Now if someone was neglecting to sign him up to a voucher for cheap coarse angling he'd be carpet-bombing them with mails

majorstress Mon 18-Apr-05 15:33:23

with mine, it's rock climbing that takes the priority

Blu Mon 18-Apr-05 15:44:32

We are trying to manage without the voucher company - because of the savings to our small organisation if we do. It seems that if my employers pay the nursery direct, we should be ok....

majorstress Mon 18-Apr-05 15:54:21

Hey anyone, even if I can get them to register themselves, what do I do since the nursery and afterschool club take the money upfront for the whole term? Am I sunk? I've already paid!!

elliott Mon 18-Apr-05 15:57:29

possibly, unless you can persuade them to refund you. If not, just try and get it into place before you have to pay the next lot!

majorstress Mon 18-Apr-05 16:07:19

that's pretty useless too isn't it. They would be unlikely to change their whole billing system. It's not like there's anywhere else I can flounce off to instead if they won't honor the government's new scheme! What about holiday clubs, they are even more "occasional" bills. And I don't have to pay them again until August. I'm sure lots of places take payment termly in advance.

elliott Mon 18-Apr-05 16:13:36

majorstress, I think if you can start getting the vouchers, you can save them up to pay for future childcare costs. So if you started now, you could accrue up to £217 per month in vouchers for your next childcare bills. the only thing to be careful of is nto to have more vouchers than your childcare expenses, and also make sure you get the right balance for each provider (this is easy with online transfers, but with the paper vouchers you'd need to specify in advance).
Sorry I didn't think of that before - I have a monthly payment so its not really an issue for me.
I'm not sure how you go about persuading them - I'm sure there will be other parents affected though so if you all lobby them they should come round? Tbh from the nurseries pov its exactly the same as receiving a standing order - no big deal.

majorstress Tue 19-Apr-05 13:52:17

thanks elliot that is helpful-so I need to get that organised right away somehow. I certainly have no problem spending the £50, but no one place is getting all the money each week, except my work nursery and they have their own new and separate salary sacrifice scheme (which is also causing me grief, of course).

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