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Childcare element of Working Tax Credit

Find out more about the Childcare element of Working Tax Credit.

1. What is the childcare element of Working Tax Credit?

The Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit is for people who work but are on a low income to help with the cost of registered or approved childcare. It does not matter whether you are working for someone else or are self-employed.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You must be 16 or over

Type of benefit: Means tested

Administered by: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

 

Reviewed: August 2017

 

2. Can I get the childcare element of Working Tax Credit?

The Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit is for

  • Single people who work at least 16 hours a week; or

  • Couples who both work at least 16 hours a week; or  

  • Couples where one works at least 16 hours a week and the other is incapacitated, in hospital or in prison; or

  • Couples where one works at least 16 hours a week and the other is entitled to Carer's Allowance; or

  • Couples where one works  at least 16 hours a week and the other is in hospital or in prison (serving a sentence or remand in custody)

You must be paying for registered or approved childcare for a child you are responsible for.

 

Reviewed: August 2017

3. How much is the childcare element of Working Tax Credit?

You can get up to 70 per cent of what you pay in childcare, to a maximum of:

  • £175 per week for one child
  • £300 per week for two or more children.

If you get childcare vouchers from your employer, you must deduct these from the amount of your childcare costs when claiming the childcare element of tax credits.  Some people will be better off claiming tax credits with the childcare element rather than childcare vouchers.  You can use the HMRC childcare indicator to help you decide.

Benefit Cap

The childcare element of Working Tax Credit is not included in the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can receive. You can read more about the Benefit Cap in our Benefit Cap guide.

Two Child Limit

The childcare element of Working Tax Credit is not affected by the Two Child Limit in Child Tax Credit. Even if you do not receive a Child Element in your Child Tax Credit for a certain child, you can still include their childcare costs in your claim for Working Tax Credit.

How will I be paid the childcare element of Working Tax Credit?

The childcare element of Working Tax Credit will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account.

Working Tax Credit is usually paid every four weeks.

 

Reviewed: August 2017

 

4. How do I claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit?

The childcare element is a part of Working Tax Credit and as such is claimed as part of a Working Tax Credit claim.

Please see the Working Tax Credit guide for further details on claiming.

What documents will I need to claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit?

You will need to provide details of your childcare provider and the costs as part of your Working Tax Credit claim.

Change of circumstances

Tax Credits are paid on a year by year basis but it is very important to tell HM Revenue and Customs about changes in your circumstances during the year which could affect the money you get. You must tell them about some changes within one month.

See the Gov.uk website (link opens in a new window) for more information on changes that affect your tax credits

 

Reviewed: August 2017