Tag: money help

Qualifying for tax free childcare

The Government scheme that gives you up to £2,000 per child What is Tax-Free Childcare? It is the Government backed scheme to simply help parents with the cost of expensive…

The Government scheme that gives you up to £2,000 per childtax free childcare

What is Tax-Free Childcare?

It is the Government backed scheme to simply help parents with the cost of expensive childcare.

The scheme was launched in April 2017 and if you’re eligible, you can get an extra 20% towards childcare costs. If you are eligible, you can get up to £2,000 (£4,000 if your child is disabled)  a year per child towards the cost of childcare for free.

You can even use the funds to pay towards activities like summer clubs.

How does Tax-Free Childcare work?tax free childcare

For every 80p you spend in childcare, the government will add 20p. This essentially gives you basic-rate tax back on your payment.

You can open a centralised account to make it easy. So for every 80p you put into the account, the government will add their 20p. You can then pay your childcare provider directly from that Tax-Free Childcare account.

With the scheme, you will be able to pay for up to £10,000 of childcare.  This works out as you would pay £8,000 and get an extra £2,000 per child each year! If the childcare bill reaches the government maximum, you will not be able to get any more financial support that year. However, you can still pay childcare through the tax free scheme using your centralised account, just with no additional funding. If this happens, it may be easier to pay for your childcare directly with the childcare provider.

Do I Qualify for Tax-Free Childcare?

The scheme is open to all qualifying parents.

  • You (and your partner) need to be in work to qualify for tax free childcare – This includes self employment.
  • Available to single parents
  • Your child must be 11 or younger.
  • For children with disabilities, this is up to the age of 16.
  • You (and your partner) must be earning at least £131 a week. This is the equivalent of 16 hours/week at the national minimum wage for 25 year olds or over.
  • You’re self-employed and your income varies on a weekly basis, use your three month average to see if it meets the £131 a week minimum.
  • Each parent needs to earn less than £100,000 a year.
  • If you have been self-employed for less than 12 months, the minimum income requirement does not apply to you.
  • If you are currently not working but are due to start in the next 21 days.

If you or your partner is in work and the other is not able to, you can still be eligible, if you receive any of these benefits:

  • Carer’s allowance
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Contribution- based employment and support allowance
  • Incapacity benefit or long-term incapacity benefit
  • National insurance credits

Can I qualify for Tax-Free Childcare whilst on maternity leave?

Yes! paid or unpaid statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave is still classed as being in work. You just can not apply for the child that you are currently on leave for. You can use the scheme for older siblings.

Example of Tax-Free Childcare

Lt’s say that if your total childcare bill was £500 a month, you would pay £400 and the Government will pay the remaining £100. Therefore, this would cut your £6,000 yearly costs down to £4,800.

If the childcare bill for one child is £1,000 a month, you would pay £800 and have £200 paid for by the Government. However once the maximum amount of £2,000 has been given by the Government, in this case, after 10 months, you will have to pay the full total.

Who is Tax-Free Childcare best for?tax free childcare

  • Self-employed or couples earning less than £100,000 each.
  • Families with more than one child and high childcare costs.

How to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare

First of all you need to create an online childcare account here: Government Tax-Free Childcare site.

You will need:

  • 20 minutes spare
  • National insurance number
  • Unique taxpayer reference (if you are self-employed)
  • Debit card

You will pay money in using your debit card through a standing order, or a payment from your bank account. Although both parents can use the account, only one parent can open it and you will need to decide who’s name you will use.tax free childcare

The government should top the money up hours later after you put money into the account. It can take up to five working days to pay the childcare provider.

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Don’t Suffer | Get Help With Debt

Take control of your finances and get back on track. Today there is more help than ever to stop your debts spiralling out of control. It is frightening enough having…

Take control of your finances and get back on track. Today there is more help than ever to stop your debts spiralling out of control. It is frightening enough having debt without it getting worse.

With this advice, you will gain confidence and an understanding on the starting point to getting your debt back on track.debt help pink mole

Where to start?

Many people will bury their head in the sand at the first sign of debt. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing to do as this will not solve your financial problems. You need to admit to yourself that you are in debt. Admitting to yourself is one of the most important steps.

One of my favourite methods is to start by writing down everything you currently owe on loans, credit cards etc. That way, you will know exactly how much debt you are in.debt help pink mole

Prioritise payments that need to be paid off first and payments that are actually manageable. Having order to your financial situation will stop you feel like you are drowning in your problems.

If you are in a relationship, talk to your partner about your current financial situation. Off loading the pressure and working as a team on how to get back on track will give you more support.

Debt Solutions

Here are some more debt solutions on offer:

Professional help

You may have tried to speak to your creditors about your debt struggles and nothing has come from it. Seek professional help.

There are many charities out there today that want to help you. They will provide free help and advice to getting your finances under control.

You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for a manageable repayment plan and they help you discuss your situation with your creditors.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a formal agreement between an individual and the unsecured creditors. An insolvency practitioner or debt advisor administers it.debt help pink mole

Why? Well, if you are struggling to sort out an arrangement to clear your current owed payments gradually through a debt repayment plan, an IVA is something to consider.

IVAs last for five years. During this time, you will pay an agreed amount to your creditors. Once that period of time ends, any remaining debt will be wiped out.

Do I Qualify For An IVA?

To obtain an IVA, you must fit within the criteria.

  • A minimum debt level of £5000
  • A minimum of 2 credit lines e.g. 1 credit card and 1 loan.
  • A regular income
  • The ability to pay a minimum of £90 per month into the IVA
  • An IVA should offer a higher return for your creditors than bankruptcy
  • You must live in England, Wales or N.Ireland.

You will not be able to borrow again during your IVA.

Bankruptcy

If you cannot clear your debts any other way then this option is a last resort.debt help pink mole

You can either be forced into bankruptcy by your creditors or apply for bankruptcy yourself.

If you owe £750 or more, a company can apply for you to be declared bankrupt. It is however, only recommended to those with unsecured debts of £50,000 or more.

When you declare yourself as bankrupt, other assets such as your home or your car, can be used to pay the people you owe money to.

Bankruptcy lasts for around one year. The bankruptcy will be noted on your credit file for six years. Meaning you will not be able to apply for any further credit and you will be unable to get a current account that offers an over draft. Any accounts you have, your bank will freeze them and as you may not be able to open any new accounts, you will struggle make or receive payments.

This may seem daunting. But, for some people this method has been their last resort to get out of debt.

 

Remember to always seek professional advice before proceeding with an IVA or bankruptcy.

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Help your baby’s Grandparents benefit from childcare

We are all aware of formal childcare fees becoming more and more expensive and the best cost effective decision for us can be to let the Grandparents care for your…

We are all aware of formal childcare fees becoming more and more expensive and the best cost effective decision for us can be to let the Grandparents care for your child/children whilst you have to work. They have been a vital role in many of us being able to even return back to work.

grandparent caring for grandchild

Many working grandparents have even give up their jobs in order to care for the grandchildren.

Unfortunately, this can mean losing out on their state pension rights.

So how can grandparents benefit?

Grandparents that care for children under 12 can qualify for National Insurance Credits that can top up their pension in retirement.

Grandparent Facts and Figures

  • Half of the UK’s 7 million, working age, grandparents in Britain have a grandchild under the age of 16.
  • 63% of all grandparents with grandchildren under 16 help out with the childcare. Surely yours must be one of them?
  • 1 in 5 grandmothers provide at least 10 hours a week of childcare
  • 1 in 4 working families and 1 in 3 working mothers use grandparents for childcare
  • The childcare they provide is worth £7.3 billion a year, mainly from school holiday care.

It is clear to see that the decision for grandparents to provide the care whilst parents can return to work is growing in popularity.

How the system works

Working parents can transfer their Child Benefit credits they receive and donate them to their child’s grandparents for the previous tax year.

Both parents and grandparents must apply for the credits to be transferred first. Hopefully by transferring National Insurance credits will stop grandparents missing out on building up a full state pension.

So, if the grandparents care for grandchildren under 12 years old, they can qualify for class 3 national insurance credits. The credits will count towards the grandparents qualifying years for a full state pension.grandparent caring for grandchild

The NIC details

Retirees need to have accumulated 35 years’ worth of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) – These are the credits built up for each year they’re in work.

But, not all grandparents that are retired worked for the full 35 years.

Instead, if they are looking after a child below the age of 12, the childcare credits can top them up.

This means the grandparent can continue to build up their National Insurance Contributions as they look after their grandchild.

How to claim

To claim download this form here.

You can not claim if you have claimed for any other NIC’s that year. The back date for claiming is 2011.

 

 

 

 

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