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Parents asking for copies of invoices for tax credit purposes


westie
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We provide letters to parents showing the payments made weekly/monthly to send off. We have never provided invoices?

 

Also the longest period of time we provide is from the last financial tax year. ie April 2015 onward. People are required to update their claims yearly.. and information is usually verified yearly by HMRC.. so I don't understand how it can stretch back many years?

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It's starting to become a bit of an issue for us time wise. The way our current invoicing system works means that it would take us just as long to provide a list as to provide invoices. Each half terms invoices are in seperate excel spreadsheets,so we have to open each document to extract the relevant information for that half term/ holiday club. We do need to look at our admin systems but have other pressing issues at the moment.

 

I've not once been approached by tax credits themselves it's always the parent stating they have to provide evidence. But I've started to be of the opinion if you know you need the evidence why are you not keeping the original invoices?!

 

There are a couple of reasons it sometimes stretches back longer than a year. Often parents tell me they suddenly realise they are entitled, so claim retrospectively or they tell me they are being spot checked.

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Goodness me - I have never been asked - would not be at all happy if I was :(

 

That would take a considerable amount of time to get together - this would of course be unpaid - think I give enough of that already

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A general increase in requests I think, usually only from April 2015 - March 2016 though! Can be costly in terms of time and printing too!

 

Also been asked to complete forms for weekly amounts but these are easier to be honest and far less time consuming!

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Don't know what you can do for the past, but in future I would put a note clearly on your invoices that due to admin time you are unable to provide copies, and they should ensure they retain it safely in case it is required for tax man etc. Maybe make it clear on induction paperwork too. I think that's reasonable.

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We've been asked for about 3, but then most of our families don't pay extra for spaces.

 

We've done lots of letters confirming that children do attend the preschool (to whom it may concern, re Laura Ingalls DOB 7 Feb 1867, this letter confirms that Laura Ingalls has attended the preschool since January 2016 for 15 hours a week, using her funded hours), and don't charge for those.

 

I suggested to our admin asst after she did the 3rd letter that we actually retain a copy of the children's termly invoices on their files from next term, so it's a simple matter of copying them, as we have so few that it will apply to.

 

We've also been asked in the past to fill in paperwork when parents have had student loans covering childcare. The initial form which says how much we'll charge & when for is easy, but the follow up form in which you have to state how much you charged for each week and how much was actually paid in each week is a pain. Even if you have a conscientious parent who sensibly uses the money as soon as they get it to pay the term's fees. Again, we don't charge for those.

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I get asked for past invoices for tax credits a lot by parents. For nursery children this is relatively easy as I use nursery management software - but it still takes time and printing. For our holiday club, one invoice replaces the previous one so I have to go back and look at registers then work out what I charged. I really need to change this system as every year I get asked for invoices which I then have to figure out!

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We just do a standard letter, child attends since month/year, cost of xx per week. I think adding it in copies are chargeable is a positive move I might take up too.

I do know from personal experience when they decide to spot check you out of the blue you need every piece of evidence possible for the timeframe they give you, I would have been happy to pay extra for copies, I had to phone round everyone asking for letters as most of my things are online now so i don't get/save bills really anymore from child care costs to utility companies, it is a very stressful and uneasy time I found when they do it to you so I would help the parent where I could but within our means too, which now might entail a charge

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Hmm this is unusual and I better prepare for this myself. In the 10 years we have never been asked to provide invoices only a letter stating details of previous (usually 1 tax year) of payments. I don't understand how it can differ for many others as i have noticed here and I am going to be taking the advice given just in case.

 

Just on a side note and with seeing many letters from the Tax Credit department over the years.. in my experience the letter parent's receive, it does state "...a letter with a breakdown of payments from your childcare provider..."

 

here are some parents discussing the letters and the last financial tax year is a recurring thing.. http://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/house-garden-194/money-finance-entitlements-267/1297643-letter-concentrix-about-tax-credits-childcare-all.html

 

Concentrix are a private company contracted by the government.. and can not force anybody to send private financial details, although it might effect your claim, if you ignore them altogether! In my experience a letter from the Nursery or Child Minding Setting to confirm that the child did attend, for the last financial period and that they paid a certain amount (averaged) per week, should be enough information to satisfy the claim period.

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Most nursery management software will print a statement of all activity between two dates, showing all charges and all payments. We use Kindersoft and the statement It is very quick and easy to produce and thank goodness it is because we get asked for them every week!!

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In my experience HMRC may ask for invoices, but aren't actually bothered what they get as long as it's from the setting.

I just provide a letter that says so many weeks at £x and so many weeks at £y - to take account of price increases, funded weeks and so on. I have an Excel spreadsheet set up for it.

It's usually for the previous tax year, sometimes for a less period. We've been providing them for years but I've never known anyone ask for more than 12 months-worth.

I ought to charge for it, but I don't. On the other hand, only the parents who pay monthly get a printed invoice. A lot like to pay weekly so they don't have an invoice in the first place. So I guess I can't complain when they want something in writing from me.

The really annoying ones are the ones who say "can you do this for me today please? I have to get it back by the day after tomorrow but I keep forgetting to ask"

Edited by Lois
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