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Gloucestershire Business News

Childcare: Are you missing the net?

Tax-Free Childcare has saved 62,705 families in the South West on their childcare costs during the 2022 to 2023 tax year, an increase of more than 13,500 from the previous year according to fresh statistics from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

With thousands more families benefitting from the government top up year on year, HMRC is reminding eligible working families of the financial support available to pay for approved childcare including holiday clubs, breakfast and after school clubs, child minders and nurseries.

Last year, £533 million in government cash was shared by families across the UK who saved money on their childcare bills.

Working families, with children up to the age of 11, or 16 if their child has a disability, can save up to £2,000 a year per child or £4,000 a year if their child is disabled.

For every £8 paid into a Tax-Free Childcare account, families automatically receive an additional government top up of £2. Families can save up to £500 every three months for each child or £1,000 if their child is disabled.

Victoria Atkins, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:  "While thousands more working families are benefitting from Tax-Free Childcare, which is making a real difference to their childcare bills, many more are missing out on the help they're entitled to."

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's Director General for Customer Services, added:  "Tax-Free Childcare is a flexible benefit for families, allowing them to save towards the cost of childcare throughout the year and use when they need it.

"It can be a real boost to the household budget of working families. Search 'Tax-Free Childcare' on GOV.UK and sign up today."

More than one million families could be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare, the government says, adding that opening a Tax-Free Childcare account can be done online in about 20 minutes. Go to GOV.UK to register and get started.

The HMRC's reminder follows new plans announced earlier this year to expand the government offer for 30 hours free childcare a week, so that working parents of children over the age of nine months to when they start school can access support.

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