Parents face fines due to tax-free childcare payment delay

Around 22,000 tax-free childcare payments have been delayed by up to one week, following an issue with HMRC’s payment system, resulting in some parents facing late payment fees from childcare providers

A problem with HMRC’s system meant that payments from parents to childcare providers, which were supposed to be processed between 30 October and 1 November, were not made.

This delay has meant that many parents are now facing late payment fees from their childcare providers.

HMRC has said that the payments have now been processed.

HMRC said: ‘We identified an issue earlier this week which resulted in delays to some tax-free childcare payments. This issue has now been resolved, and the affected payments were received by childcare providers on 7 November. We apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused to parents and providers, and we have contacted those affected by email.

‘If parents or providers have any further problems, they can call us on 0300 123 4097. HMRC will consider reimbursement where additional charges are incurred due to late payments. These will be processed on a case by case basis.’

Under the tax-free childcare scheme parents can open an account with HMRC to save for childcare costs for children under 12.

For every £8 parents pay into their childcare account the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for a disabled child. This top up is added instantly and parents can then send electronic payments directly to their childcare providers.

HMRC’s childcare website has previously faced a raft of IT problems with IT glitches preventing parents from making claims in when it was first launched in April 2017.

Report by Amy Austin

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