This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Particular aspects: child care - changes of circumstances relating to child care costs

Customers must notify us if the average weekly amount that they pay for childcare:

  • is reduced by £10 per week or more
  • reduces to nil

If the childcare costs are a fixed weekly cost, the change must last at least 4 weeks.

These notifiable changes must be notified within 1 month from the date of the change or the date the customer realises there has been a change, see CCM1050. Before 6 April 2007 customers had 3 months to tell us about the change.

If the customer does not tell us in time they may be liable to a penalty, not exceeding £300. See Chapter 10 Interest and Penalties - CCM10000 for more details. We also tell customers to tell us when their average weekly costs rise by £10 or more for at least 4 weeks in a row, so they can receive any increased payments to which they are entitled as quickly as possible.

There are two separate issues relating to dates resulting from a change of circumstances that cause a change in childcare costs:

  • the “specified date” from which the childcare element is recalculated - This depends on whether the child care charges are increased or decreased

    • if they are increased, the specified date is the later of

    (i) the first day of the week in which the change occurred, and

    (ii) the first day of the week in which falls the day which is three months prior to the date notification of the change is given;

    Regulation 16(1) and 16(5)(a) of the Working Tax Credit (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002)

    • If they are decreased the specified date is the first day of the week following the 4 consecutive weeks in which the change occurred

    Regulation 16(1) and 16(5)(b) of the Working Tax Credit (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002)

    NB For childcare purposes weeks run from Sunday to Saturday.

  • the period in which the change must be notified if childcare charges go down i.e. the relevant window - 1 month beginning on the date the change occurred, or the date the customer first became aware there had been a change

Regulation 19 and 21 (3) of the Tax Credit (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002.

See CCM6315 for more information about how changes in childcare charges are calculated and examples of the dates.