Equifax

Finance Blog

Write Off Your Child's Summer Camp

Written by Eva Rosenberg on June 30, 2010 in Tax  |   1 comment

No school, no books, no teacher’s dirty looks! Remember when you looked forward eagerly to summer? When you were finally released in June, you flew out those schoolhouse doors and didn’t look back! You didn’t realize how much your parents dreaded those months, with you…

Tax write-offs can include child's summer campNo school, no books, no teacher’s dirty looks!

Remember when you looked forward eagerly to summer? When you were finally released in June, you flew out those schoolhouse doors and didn’t look back! You didn’t realize how much your parents dreaded those months, with you at loose ends while they had to work.

Now you’re a parent. You have a job. While you wish you could spend all day with your child, someone has to make a living. What’s your best alternative?

Summer camp!

Not only is it a great way to keep your child occupied, distracted, educated or entertained-but you just might be able to get a tax benefit from summer camp, too.

Yup!

The cost of summer camp can be used toward the Child and Dependent Care Credit, taken on Form 2441. The purpose of the credit is to provide before-school, after-school or day care for dependents so parents can go to work or get an education.

First, the good news!

The credit can be worth 20 to 35 percent of $3,000 of expenses per year, per dependent, for up to two dependents. The percentage depends on your income.

Children must be under age 13 at the time they went to summer camp or received any qualifying care. The camp may provide a specialized activity, like soccer, chess or computer training-so you can toss in some focus along with the care.

Finally, this credit applies not just for children, but also for the cost of care for adults who are elderly or disabled.

Now the bad news:

1) There is no tax benefit for sending your child off to overnight camp for the summer. Why get a credit for summer day care and not overnight camp? Who knows? Logically, it should make no difference. Thank your D.C. legislators who’ve never had to pack lunches, wash muddy jeans or deal with stacks of wet towels all over the house. Or children tugging on your shirttails, yelling, “Mommy, Mommy, look at me!”

2) If you’re already paying for day care, after-school care, or private school, you’ve probably used up your cost allotment for Form 2441.

A word of caution: You must request the taxpayer ID number of the summer camp or care provider to put on the Form 2441, along with its name, address and telephone number (in some states). Get this information before placing your child in the camp’s care. We’ve heard from parents that some people get downright rude when asked for that ID number at tax time the next year. Turns out those care providers weren’t planning on reporting the income. Oops.

Summer is also a good time for remedial courses, or for special training for children with learning disorders or other physical or nervous issues that can be identified by a doctor. Those costs may be applied toward your medical expenses. If you have a flexible spending account at work, build these costs into your plan for next year. You could pay for up to $5,000 worth of “medical” expenses with pre-tax dollars. That could put about $1,500 right back into your pocket.

—-
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com, where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com.


Read More.

1 comment

  1. Ilyce Glink says:

    Eva: Great advice. Both of my kids will be at summer camp for all (younger son) or part (older son) of the summer.

    Thanks for the helpful tips.


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Tax Archive

Stay Informed Sign up for our FREE Equifax email Newsletter