Is this child care or not?

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  • #39514
    jan_ca
    Participant

    Has anyone come across a company which is advertising very heavily at the moment for extra tuition for children, maximum period less than 2 hours at a time, for no more than two sessions each week?
    This company is telling people that they are ofsted registered ( they are ) and it will not cost them anything because they can claim it in child care in their tax credits.
    The tax credit office then pay for the childcare and we now have claimants who want the amount disregarded from their earnings as their tax credits have increased.

    As far as we can see it is not childcare so that the parent can work – it is more a convenient way of having a child free hour to shop, or have a rest.One claimant has told me that she has done it so her mother can have a rest while looking after the children.

    I know guidance tells us we should disregard childcare if allowed by tax credits, but the tax credit office have admitted they do not look into these things, if the box is ticked for childcare on the application then it is allowed!

    So my question – would you disregard the costs, or not?

    #112452
    craigworc
    Participant

    This obviously isn’t child care and I’d be loathe to allow it BUT, if tax credits have allowe dit I can’t see how we could refuse it. |(

    #112458
    Anonymous
    Guest

    “I know guidance tells us we should disregard childcare if allowed by tax credits, but the tax credit office have admitted they do not look into these things, if the box is ticked for childcare on the application then it is allowed!”

    Wait until UC starts. “Do you pay rent?” “Yes.” Appropriate LHA rate for you then!!!

    What really annoys me is that the shambles that is tax credits is being used as justification to centralise our (very well administered by comparison) benefit

    #112470
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    If HMRC have admitted they do not “look into thse things”, I think there is a strong argument that the childcare payments made do not, in themselves, mean that the HB/CTB decision has to follow. HBR 28 (8) (f) relates to Tax Credits but refers to the regulations rather than the decisions of TC officers. (Even DWP GM says further investigation is required if doubts over TC decision.)

    Some ‘leg work’ required but it is possible.

    On the other hand, you will need to check things carefully and look specifically at that aspect (is it “childcare”?) – the ‘convenience/allowing parent to work’ factor is itself irrelevant! In theory, a couple can work 16 hours each – say Mrs works Mon-Tues, Mr works Wed-Thurs, with the other looking after the child, then child in nursery Friday so they can spend the day in the pub – and we would have no grounds to refuse the

    #112545
    jan_ca
    Participant

    Thanks for your input guys – it’s a tricky one.
    I have left it with the tax credit compliance team and hope they will look into it properly now.

    #112546
    jan_ca
    Participant

    Thanks for your input guys – it’s a tricky one.
    I have left it with the tax credit compliance team and hope they will look into it properly now.

    #112547
    Anonymous
    Guest

    There is nothing in Reg 28 that requires the child care to be provided as a direct consequence of the claimant/partner working. The conditions are that the claimant/partner works and the child is receiving qualifying child care … the causal link may be implied but it is not expressly stated.

    There is an Upper Tribunal decision involving Torbay Council – Clive Hayward told us about it on this forum – where the Judge concluded that there is an implied causal link between a claimant receiving medical care and remaining absent from home for longer than 13 weeks: if the claimant would have been absent anyway for some other reason (as a prisoner in that case) receiving medical care does not bring him into the 52-week groups. Maybe you could run the same kind of argument in relation to these child care charges.

    I don’t think you would have a strong case to argue that it isn’t child care per se: if someone looks after your children, is not providing them with compulsory education and is Ofsted registered, I think that’s child care.

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