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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Eligibility - childcare element (WTC): Childcare element (WTC) - entitlement (Info)

A customer will be entitled to the childcare element of Working Tax Credit (WTC) if they are

  • incurring relevant childcare charges

Note: For more information, follow the guidance in TCM0032160.


  • have entered into an agreement for the provision of childcare which will start within seven days and will incur under that agreement relevant childcare charges for childcare during the period of the award

and, they are either a

  • lone parent in remunerative work for at least 16 hours weekly
  • member of a couple where both are in remunerative work for at least 16 hours weekly


  • member of a couple where one member is in remunerative work for at least 16 hours weekly and the other member is incapacitated, in hospital, detained in prison or entitled to Carer’s Allowance, this means they either:

    • get paid Carer’s Allowance


    • qualify for Carer’s Allowance but do not actually get any payments as they receive other benefits instead.

Note: The Carer’s Allowance exception only applies from 6 April 2012.

Follow the guidance in TCM0112160.

Where an agreement has been made for the provision of childcare, but no payments have actually been made you should enter the future date and payment information onto the computer, which will calculate future entitlement to the childcare element.

Note: On 28 April 2008, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a two-year pilot that allows payment of up-front childcare costs for lone parents in six Jobcentre Plus London districts. All payments made from the Up-Front Childcare Fund (UFCF) are made directly to the registered or approved childcare provider by DWP. If you receive a tax credits claim that includes childcare costs from a lone parent customer in the London area, you must follow the guidance in TCM0032160.