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HMRC have recently published new guidance on how to request a review of a tax-free childcare or 30 hours free childcare application where the applicant disagrees with a decision that they are not eligible.

Many working parents and guardians could be missing out on up to £2,000 per child, per year towards the cost of childcare. Broadly, eligible claimants can receive government top-ups of £2 for every £8 that they pay into a tax-free childcare account, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child (or £4,000 for disabled children), although there is an overall maximum limit of £10,000. The scheme is open to all working parents across the UK with children under 12, or under 17 if disabled.

Under the scheme, the parent/guardian opens an online account via the government's Childcare Choices website and decides how much to pay in and how often. The flexible nature of accounts means that accountholders can pay in more in some months, and less at other times, depending on how much they have spare to invest. Money can be withdrawn at any time but the government contribution will be lost. Again, the flexible nature of tax-free childcare allows anyone to pay into the account, including grandparents, other family members or employers.

Anyone who pays for child care would be wise to check their eligibility for tax-free childcare as they could be missing out on considerable financial support. Checks can be made via the government's Childcare Choices website, and remember to ask HMRC to review any claim that is turned down.

Sarah Laing is an author for accountingcpd. To see her courses, click here.

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