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Tax-free childcare glitch hits parent payments

By Rachel Lawler

tax-free childcare glitch

Parents have been left unable to pay for childcare after a glitch with the tax-free childcare system.

Some payments made into tax-free childcare accounts are not showing up as available funds when parents log in to the system, leaving them unable to make a payment to their childcare providers. This is despite banks confirming that the funds have left the parents' accounts.

HMRC issued the following statement: "We apologise for the inconvenience caused by ongoing payment issues. These issues are in the process of being resolved. If parents or childcare providers have any problems, they can call us on 0300 123 4097."

The news comes shortly after a glitch earlier in August left providers unable to tell which parents payments had been made by, as payments were sent anonymously.

"Problems must be ironed out"

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: "Only last week we reported a technical glitch on the tax-free childcare system, which directly affected childcare providers and today parents are left wondering where their payments have gone.

"These problems must be ironed out urgently. Childcare providers are about to start a new term and they cannot afford not to be paid. And parents cannot afford to pay twice."

Parent concerns

Paul Wadsworth, a parent who uses the tax-free childcare scheme, commented: "I have a regular payment set up to go into the childcare account which then goes on to the nursery. The first I knew of an issue was a text from HMRC saying my payment to our nursery had failed due to insufficient funds. My bank assured me HMRC recieved my money on the 16 August but nothing has been credited to my account.

"After three phone calls to the HMRC Childcare Helpline they advised that they are aware of the problem but have no timescale for a fix and that lots of people have been affected. They said I could pay in by debit card but I'd rather wait until they find my original money as I'm not sure I trust it would credit. Luckily the nursery has been understanding until now, but this is two weeks since the issue started and no resolution in sight." 

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