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Deducting kid’s summer camp and daycare costs under the Child and Dependent Care Credit

Dean Rodahl

August 1, 2019

With all the tax law changes this year, be sure that you are getting your just deductions in the coming tax season. That is, qualifying deductions that fall under the Child and Dependent Care Credit. According to tax giant and trusted resource Intuit, here’s the skinny…

If you paid a daycare center, babysitter, summer camp or other provider to care for a qualifying child under age 13 or a disabled dependent of any age, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses—up to $3,000 for one child or dependent or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents.

Qualifying criteria…

The Child and Dependent Care Credit is designed to assist working parents and guardians with some of the expenses involved in raising a child or caring for a disabled dependent. To qualify, you must meet several criteria, including the following:

  • You (and your spouse, if you are married filing jointly) must have earned income for the tax year.

  • You must be the custodial parent or main caretaker of the child or dependent.

  • The child or dependent care service must have been used so that you could work or look for employment.

  • Your filing status must be single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a qualifying child, or married filing jointly.

  • Your child or dependent must be under the age of 13 or must be disabled and physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves.

  • The childcare provider cannot be your spouse or dependent or the child's parent.

Qualifying expenses for the Child and Dependent Care Credit

Most know that daycare fees qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. However, qualifying expenses often overlooked include childcare provided by a babysitter or licensed dependent care center…as well as the cost of a cook, housekeeper, maid or cleaning person who provides care for the child or dependent.

Other qualifying expenses include day camp or summer camp fees. Even camps centered around a sport or activity qualify if the camp was selected to provide care while the parent or parents were at work. Please note that overnight camps do NOT qualify.

Additional qualifying expenses include costs related to before- and after-school care for children under the age of 13 and expenses related to a nurse, home care provider or other care provider for a disabled dependent. Keep in mind that expenses related to schooling or tutoring are not qualifying expenses.

Because every family is different, be sure to check with your advisor on IRS exceptions. Here’s hoping your summer is fun and festive so far!

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