Tax Credit entitlement and Home Education

Cheryl Moy made this Freedom of Information request to HM Revenue and Customs

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Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Would you please clarify that Child Tax Credit is payable to parents of home educated children until their 16th birthday, and up until their 20th birthday if the home education commenced prior to the 16th birthday (and is not of an advanced level)?

Would you confirm that the HMRC acknowledges and accepts the following description of what constitutes a home education?
The Government's 2007 Elective Home Education Guidance requirements are as follows:
'3.13 Parents are required to provide an efficient, full-time education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of the child. There is currently no legal definition of "full-time". Children
normally attend school for between 22 and 25 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but
this measurement of "contact time" is not relevant to elective home education where there
is often almost continuous one-to-one contact and education may take place outside normal
"school hours".
The type of educational activity can be varied and flexible. Home educating parents are not required to:
teach the National Curriculum
provide a broad and balanced education
have a timetable
have premises equipped to any particular standard
set hours during which education will take place
have any specific qualifications
make detailed plans in advance
observe school hours, days or terms
give formal lessons
mark work done by their child
formally assess progress or set development objectives
reproduce school type peer group socialisation
match school-based, age-specific standards. '

If the parent fails to provide a suitable education a school attendance order will be served, and the child must attend school.

The HMRC states that for entitlement to Child Tax Credit the education must be full time with more than 12 hours of supervised study. Does the HMRC accept that if a parent is home educating within the above Government guidance then they also fit the description of entitlement to Child Tax Credit?

If your requirements of home educators varies please provide detailed information and an explanation as to why you do not accept the Government's description.

Yours faithfully,

Cheryl Moy
Educational Freedom.

HM Revenue and Customs

 
 
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HM Revenue and Customs

1 Attachment

Cheryl

 

Please find attached our reply to your FOI request.

 

Regards

 

Ray

 

Ray Francis | B&C Strategy & Policy
100 Parliament Street, London. SW1A 2BQ

 

The information in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential and may
be subject to legal professional privilege. Unless you are the intended
recipient or his/her representative you are not authorised to, and must
not, read, copy, distribute, use or retain this message or any part of it.
If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender
immediately.

 

HM Revenue & Customs computer systems will be monitored and communications
carried on them recorded, to secure the effective operation of the system
and for lawful purposes.

 

The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs are not liable for any
personal views of the sender.

 

This e-mail may have been intercepted and its information altered.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Thank you for your response would you please clarify what is meant by 'This includes full-time non-advanced
education provided at home, providing that the child was receiving home education before
their 16th birthday and the home schooling had previously been approved by the
Commissioners for Revenue & Customs'.
Are home educators expected to inform you that they home educate even when a child is aged 5-15?

Yours faithfully,

Cheryl Moy

HM Revenue and Customs

Cheryl

CTC is payable in respect of a child until 31 August after their 16th birthday. Thereafter, CTC will generally continue to be payable in respect of a "qualifying young person" up to their 20th birthday provided that the young person either:

• remains in full-time, non-advanced education which is not provided by virtue of a contract of employment. This is defined as education up to A-level/GNVQ level 3 or equivalent, provided at a school or college or, where the young person was receiving that education before the age of 16, elsewhere, if approved by HMRC, where the average time spent during term-time exceeds 12 hours a week; or
• undertakes a course of approved training. This is training which is not part of paid employment and which is provided under arrangements made by the Government.

Up to the age of 16, a child's parents and the local authority have a duty to ensure that a child has a suitable education under the Education Act 1996. This may be through education taken at school or at home. Until the age of 16, HMRC therefore assumes that this duty is being met. However, once a child turns 16, this duty on the local authority to ensure that a child is undertaking suitable education ceases. This is why, just before the child turns 16, HMRC issues an enquiry form to the person or persons responsible for that child to check their plans for the child's continuing education.

So, to clarify, claimants are not expected to inform HMRC that they home educate their child when that child is aged between 5-15. However, there is an obligation on claimants to inform HMRC of their plans for the child's education as the child approaches the age of 16.

Regards

Ray

Ray Francis | B&C Strategy & Policy
100 Parliament Street, London. SW1A 2BQ

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