Earlier this year the government announced that no new childcare voucher schemes could be set up after 5 October 2018. This was a six-month extension from the previous 5 April 2018 end date. If those employers offering such schemes at 5 October are prepared to keep administering their scheme then they will continue to be available but will eventually be phased out.
The current scheme allows employers to provide vouchers to employees t pay for care for their children up to age 16. Vouchers to the value of £55 per week can be provided tax-free to basic rate taxpayers with differing tax-free amounts for higher rate and additional rate taxpayers.
The replacement scheme is the government’s “tax-free” childcare account which started this year for children up to age 12. Under this scheme, the government tops up the savings in the childcare account by 25% up to £2,000 per child per year (£4,000 for a disabled child).
Thus, savings of £8,000 would be topped up by the government to £10,000 and the £10,000 could then be used to pay Ofsted registered childcare providers such as nursery fees, childminders, after school clubs and summer camps.
Unlike childcare vouchers, the new childcare accounts will be available to both employees and the self-employed.
For those already in childcare voucher schemes, it may be beneficial to switch to the new childcare account and we can help you calculate whether or not that would be beneficial.