When you are the parent of two energetic boys, summer day camp can often become your best friend. There’s just one thing – the costs associated with camp can be extra challenging on the wallet. But here’s the good news: parents who meet a certain criteria may be able to deduct the price of child care on their taxes!
Under the Child and Dependent Care Credit, expenses for sending qualifying children aged 13 and under to a day camp while mom and dad work can be tax deductible up to a certain percentage based on your income (max is 35%).
Here’s a list of what items may or may not qualify, along with stipulations of the credit.
- Doctor fees, shots, physicals, and other preventative care are deductible.
- If the camp cost includes a fee for transporting your child to and from the camp for trips taken during camp hours, that’s an eligible expense. However, getting your child to and from summer camp before and after work is not a deduction for you.
- If you or your spouse do not work, you may not be able to claim the credit since it’s technically for parents who are working or actively seeking work. No income equals no credit.
- The childcare provider can’t be a spouse, dependent, or the child’s parent. This eliminates you from claiming the credit.
- Overnight camps are not deductible.
- Personal items – including clothing that the camp might require – are not deductible.
- Day camps at qualifying gyms are covered under the credit.
Be sure to get the camp’s information (official name, address, and tax ID number) for next year’s tax return before the camp ends. If your 13-year-old turns a year older during the summer, you can still claim the child care costs up until the day of their 14th birthday.
You will need to attach Form 2441 to your tax return to claim the credit. You can’t file Form 104EZ or Form 1040NR. See IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses (PDF), for more information.
Tax season may be over, but Liberty Tax offices are still open to answer your questions. Use our office locator or call 1-866-871-1040 to find your closest office.