HMRC has announced the launch of a new compensation scheme for users affected by system issues when trying to register to the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS). The TFCS was launched in April 2017 to the first tranche of working parents. The scheme was initially made available to working parents of children aged under 4 on 31 August 2017.
Since the scheme was launched there have been numerous reports of technical problems. HMRC has now confirmed that they will consider refunding any reasonable costs directly caused by the service not working as well as making a one-off top-up payment to those that were unable to complete an application online.
HMRC says that applicants may be eligible for these payments if they have:
- been unable to complete their application for TFCS
- been unable to access their childcare account
- not received a decision if they are eligible, without explanation, for more than 20 days
The TFCS enables qualifying parents to receive a government top-up of £2 for every £8 that they pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account up to a maximum contribution of £10,000 per child per year. In order to be eligible to use the scheme parents will have to be in work, and each earning just over an average of £100 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year.
In addition, from September this year parents of three and four year old children living in England will be able to apply for a new 30 hours free childcare offer, worth around £5,000 per child. Anyone who hasn’t been able to complete an application for free childcare should contact HMRC on 0300 123 4097 for a code to give to your childcare provider to secure a 30 hours free childcare place.
To make a claim, parents need to fill in a form online with their full name, home address, national insurance number, a brief description of the issues they had, bank details and copies of receipts from their childcare provider. HMRC will decide and make any compensation payments directly to the claimant’s bank account.