Along with the lazy, hazy days of summer come some extra expenses, including summer day camp for working parents. But, there’s some good news. If you paid someone to care for a child or a dependent so you could work, you may be able to reduce your federal income tax by claiming the credit for child and dependent care expenses on your tax return.
This credit is available to people who, in order to work or to look for work, have to pay for childcare services for dependents under age 13. The credit is also available if you paid for the care of a spouse or a dependent, of any age, who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care.
The Child and Dependent Care Credit is available for childcare expenses incurred during the summer and throughout the rest of the year. Here are five facts to remember about this credit:
- The cost of day camp may count as an expense toward the Child and Dependent Care Credit.
- Expenses for overnight camps do not qualify.
- Whether your childcare provider is a sitter at your home or a daycare facility outside the home, you may get some tax benefit if you qualify for the credit. You will need the name of the childcare provider, the address, the identification number (i.e. Social Security number or employer identification number) and the total amount paid.
- The credit can be up to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending on your income.
- You may use up to $3,000 of the unreimbursed expenses paid in a year for one qualifying individual or $6,000 for two or more qualifying individuals to figure the credit.
For more information check out IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses. This publication is available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
NOTE TO EDITOR: below are links to IRS.gov information and publications about summer day camp expenses.
Here’s a list of helpful IRS forms and publications:
Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide Form (and Instructions)
Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Form 1040, Schedule H Household Employment Taxes
Form W-10 Dependent Care Provider’s Identification and Certification
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