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How does the childcare element of working tax credit work?!

(4 Posts)
Daffodilium Tue 10-Feb-15 17:46:41

Can anyone explain how the childcare element of working tax credit works (CEWTX)?

I'm a lone parent working 20 hours a week and my combined Child Tax Credit/Working Tax Credit is £177.20 a week

My childcare costs which I need for school holidays/inset days only average £34 a week calculated over a year.

But I have to write a cheque for £170 next week for the February half term childcare, so does that mean I will only be awarded £34 towards that cost by the CEWTX? It's a bit confusing. Does anyone know now it works or what, likely award will be, as obviously with my week's wages being £130 and childcare for a week costing £170, it's unaffordable.

Sidge Tue 10-Feb-15 17:51:55

The childcare element is contained within the WTC - if you look at your last award it sets out each component.

Did you work out your childcare correctly when you renewed your award? You need to average it out over the year. You won't get extra money in your bank for half terms and holidays, the idea is that the amount you are awarded over the year is a proportion of your annual childcare costs.

lougle Tue 10-Feb-15 17:58:54

You average your childcare costs over the year. Then the CEWTC is calculated and added in with your general WTC.

Say your child care costs are £34 averaged over the year, totalling £1768. Your income and circumstances may lead to a contribution from CEWTC of, say, £20 per week, leaving you with £14 to pay yourself.

Each week you will get a WTC payment, which may be, for example, £44. £20 of that is for your child care costs. So, you need to save that £20 aside, so that when your half term comes around, you have the money ready.

If you haven't been saving the money that they've allocated for Childcare up, then you are going to have a shortfall in your wages.

Daffodilium Tue 10-Feb-15 18:19:28

I've just got off the phone from tax credits.

They said I'll be given an extra £23 a week in tax credits to help towards childcare costs. They've averaged it over the year.

It still means I'll have to write a big cheque for £170 this February half term, and other big cheques including £1090 for the summer school hols, it's justthatthe childcare costs even out over the year.

How do lone parents find those kind of lump sums if they've just started work and don't have savings?

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