Foster Carers and their tax relief

Fostering is looking after someone else’s children in your own home at a time when his or her family is unable to do so. Foster care relief applies to people who get income from providing foster care to children and young people.
Anyone receiving this type of income is considered by the tax office to be self-employed and therefore liable for tax.
If total receipts from fostering no dot exceed a certain amount, often referred to as qualifying amount, than the foster carer will be exempt from income tax for that year.
A qualifying amount is made up of two elements added together.
One element is the fixed amount of £10,000 per year for each household. Only a proportion of the fixed amount can be claimed if the foster carer is registered for less than a year.
The second element consists of an amount per week for each foster child which varies depending on the child’s age.
If total receipts from fostering exceed the qualifying amount than there are two ways of calculating your tax. One is called the profit method and it is calculated by deducting the allowable expenses from the receipts.
The other one is called the simplified method and is calculated by deducting from the receipts the qualifying amount with no additional relief for expenses. Capital allowances are not available if such a claim is made. The election must be made on or before the first anniversary of 31 January next following the end of the year of assessment to which it relates. If they do not make such an election the will need to calculate their profit in the normal way (the profit method).
As profits from fostering as treated as earnings from self-employment, than National Insurance Contributions will be due (Class2 £2.30 per week and Class4 8% on the profit).
As a foster carer need you to keep good records consisting of total receipts for the year from their local authority, HSS trust or independent fostering provider.You also need to keep a record of the number of weeks that you care for each child placed with you in the year.
Also you need to keep a record of the date of birth for each child.
If your total receipts from fostering exceed the qualifying amount and you are using the profit method than you would need to keep records of your expenses as well.
If you are a foster carer and need help with filling in your tax return, Taxfile‘s tax agents in South London and Exeter are here to help.