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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Particular aspects: child care - obtaining information to confirm child care provider is appropriately registered

You should always check that the child care provider named on the claim form is within the categories listed in the Tax Credit Technical Manual (TCTM) at TCTM02630.

If both customer and provider confirm this, but you still have doubts, you should ask to see the registration or approval documents.

You should take particular care where child care is provided by a relative. There are different schemes which have their own terms and conditions, and you will need to establish which scheme the child care provider is registered with before deciding the customer is entitled to the child care element.

If the child care provider is a relative and they are registered as a childminder with Ofsted or an Ofsted registered child minder agency, the child care is acceptable as qualifying child care unless the child care takes place in the child’s home. You should not make enquiries regarding the number of children the relative looks after because for tax credit purposes the fact that they are registered with Ofsted or an Ofsted registered child minder agency is sufficient.

Relative means a parent, grand-parent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether by blood, half blood, marriage, civil partnership or affinity).

In England

Where a claim includes child care provided by a relative for a period from 6 April 2005 to 17 July 2009, you should check if the relative was approved under the Tax Credits (Approval of Home Child Care Providers) Scheme. If they were and child care took place in the relative’s home, child care charges are not allowable unless the relative usually looked after other children to whom they are were not related. If they were registered under this scheme and child care took place in the child’s own home, child care is not allowable for tax credit purposes.

From 18 July 2009 the Tax Credits (Approval of Home Child Care Providers) Scheme, is no longer acceptable as qualifying child care and from that date the relative must be registered by Ofsted or from 1 September 2014 an Ofsted registered child minder agency.

In Northern Ireland

From 6 April 2006 if the relative is approved under the Tax Credits (Approval of Home Child Care Providers) Scheme (Northern Ireland), child care charges are not allowable for tax credits purposes if the care takes place in the child’s own home. If the child care takes place in the relative’s home child care charges are not allowable unless the relative usually looks after other children to whom they are not related.

In Wales

From 6 April 2007 if the relative is approved under the Tax Credits (Approval of Child Care Providers) (Wales) Scheme, child care charges are not allowable for tax credits purposes if the care takes place in the child’s own home. If the child care takes place in the relative’s home child care charges are not allowable unless the relative usually looks after other children to whom they are not related.

Prior to 6 April 2007, the relative must have been registered under Part XA of the Children Act 1989.