Q. Our son is now old enough to attend nursery. Can my company, as my employer, help out with the nursery fees?
A. Your company can provide you with childcare vouchers to be redeemed at registered child care providers, and the first £55 per week of vouchers will be tax and NI free. If both parents work for the company they can each get £55 worth of child care vouchers per week. However, if you pay tax at 40%, you can only receive £28 per week of vouchers tax free. Those that pay tax at the new highest rate of 45% (from 6 April 2013) can only receive up to £25 per week of tax free vouchers.
The company must offer childcare vouchers to all its employees who work at the same site, it cannot exclude any employees, but employees can opt out. However, only parents with children aged under 16 can qualify for childcare vouchers. There are a number of other rules which are set out in the HMRC booklet E18: How you can help your employees with childcare.