Computershare Voucher Services
What are childcare vouchers?
Childcare vouchers are an employee benefit available to all eligible working parents
Launched in 1998, childcare vouchers are a scheme run by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
They are a Government-approved, tax-efficient way of paying for childcare. If you join the scheme, you can exchange to £55† a week (£220 per 4 week pay period or £243† a month) of your gross salary for childcare vouchers.
The part of your gross salary you exchange for childcare vouchers is tax-free and exempt from National Insurance contributions (NI). Because of this, you can make savings of up to £933* a parent, a year.
It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up for childcare vouchers and the scheme applies whatever rate of tax you pay. What’s more, both parents can request childcare vouchers, giving a potential family saving of £1,866** a year!
They can be used to pay for a wide variety of childcare
All registered childcare settings can accept childcare vouchers as a method of payment for children up to the age of 16^, including:
·Breakfast and after-school clubs
·Holiday clubs or schemes
·Activity holiday companies including Camp Beaumont, Kings Camps and Supercamps
†For parents joining a scheme from 6 April 2011, the Government has capped the amount of childcare vouchers a tax-payer can request each month to £243 for a Basic rate tax-payer, £124 for a Higher rate tax-payer and £110 for an Additional rate tax-payer. Parents who joined their employers childcare voucher scheme before 6 April 2011 can continue to request up to £243 a month (£55 a week) in childcare vouchers, regardless of their tax status, providing they remain in their employers’ scheme (i.e. they have received a childcare voucher in the last rolling 12 month period).
*Figures quoted are the maximum available savings for a Basic rate tax-payer. Higher and Additional rate tax-payers may save up to £623 a year. The savings you make will depend on your circumstances.
**Figures quoted relate to the maximum family savings, if both working parents are Basic rate tax-payers and use childcare vouchers. If both working parents are Higher or Additional rate tax-payers they may save up to £1,246 a year. The savings you make will depend on your circumstances.
^1st September following 15th birthday or 1st September following 16th birthday for children who are registered disabled.
How much can I save?
Depending on your circumstances, you could save up to £933* a year on your childcare costs.
The Government has set a limit for childcare vouchers based on tax bands:
› £243 each month for a Basic rate tax-payer;
› £124 each month for a Higher rate tax-payer; and
› £110 each month for an Additional rate tax-payer.
Parents who joined their employers childcare voucher scheme before 6 April 2011 may have Protected Rights and still be able to receive £243 each month in childcare vouchers irrespective of their tax band.
Some employers allow their employees to take more than the capped amount. However, any additional childcare vouchers over the Government limit are not tax-free and NI-exempt.
A number of state benefits - Statutory Sick Pay for example - are dependent on maintaining a minimum level of NI. Your gross pay, after deducting the value of your childcare vouchers, must not be less than £10,000 a year in the April 2014-15 tax year.
*Figures quoted are the maximum available savings for a Basic rate tax-payer. Higher and Additional rate tax-payers may save around £623 a year. The savings you make will depend on your circumstances.
How do I join?
You can join the scheme online quickly and easily.
Before you start, make sure you have the following to hand:
·Your payroll number and National Insurance number (you can find these on a recent payslip)
·Your employer’s Scheme ID. For employees paid 4-weekly the ID number is 19264866. Employees who are paid monthly, such as teachers, should use ID number 19264831
Alternatively you can contact our customer service team and join the scheme over the phone on 0845 002 1111.