Specialist Tax News

Interaction With Childcare Voucher Schemes

Tax-free childcare accounts will gradually replace childcare voucher schemes as no new schemes could be set up after 4 October 2018. Those within voucher schemes continue to be eligible until their child is aged 16, provided the employer is willing to continue operating the scheme. Many organisations provided the vouchers by way of salary sacrifice and there were tax and NIC advantages. However, with many employees working from home during the pandemic and the move to hybrid working many families found that they were not using all of their vouchers and chose to leave the scheme.

Note that the two schemes are mutually exclusive, and employers must stop giving their employees childcare vouchers with income tax and NIC relief if the employee informs them that they’ve started using the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

The employer may need to stop or change the employee’s salary sacrifice arrangement and must also update the employee’s contract and their payroll software.