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Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare.
Parents will be able to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from a registered provider.
For every £8 a parent pays in, the government will pay in extra £2. Parents can receive up to £2,000 per child, per year, towards their childcare costs, or £4,000 for disabled children.
The scheme will be available for children up to the age of 12, or 17 for children with disabilities.
To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each earning at least £115 a week and not more than £100,000 per year.
Tax-Free Childcare scheme launch to parents
Tax-Free Childcare will be launched from early 2017. The scheme will be rolled out gradually to families, with parents of the youngest children able to apply first.
Parents will be able to apply for all their children at the same time, when their youngest child becomes eligible. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017
Use the information below to get ready to sign up to Tax-Free Childcare.
You’ll need to sign up to receive payments from parents
In September and October 2016, we’ll be sending letters to regulated and approved childcare providers across the UK, asking you to sign up online for Tax-Free Childcare.
You’ll be able to sign up online as soon as you receive your invitation.
You must be a regulated or approved childcare provider to receive Tax-Free Childcare
Only childcare providers registered with a regulator (such as Ofsted) can receive Tax-Free Childcare payments.
Registration can take up to 12 weeks so, if you aren’t registered, register now so that your customers can pay you using Tax-Free Childcare. For registration timelines, please check the appropriate regulators website.
More information about registering with a regulator
Check that your regulator has your current address
You’ll only receive an invitation to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare if your regulator has your current address, so check that this is up to date.
Parents will be able to see if you’ve signed up for Tax-Free Childcare
Once you sign up, you’ll appear on our new digital tool which lets parents search for childcare providers signed up for Tax-Free Childcare.
Be ready for Tax-Free Childcare
If you’re running a business, you’ll need your 10-digit Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare. This is the number that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) gave you when you first told HMRC that you were working for yourself.
You can find your UTR on any HMRC communications, for example, your tax return or your payment reminder.
If you can’t find your UTR number, HMRC can send this number to your address. For more information call 0300 200 3410.
If you’re a nanny, you’ll need your National Insurance number to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare. You can find this on your payslip, P60, or letters from HMRC about tax, pensions and benefits.
More information about Tax-Free Childcare will be available later this year.