tax breaks — May 29, 2013

Save a Few Dollars on Summer Camp

by Bob Williams

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how summer camp can qualify for a deduction

A lot of parents will be sending their children to summer camp in a few weeks. And as the kids leave home, the bills from camp roll in.

But the IRS has a bit of good news: Those added expenses may actually help you qualify for a tax credit.

Parents who work – or who are looking for work – many times must arrange for care for their children under age 13 during summer vacation from school.

The Child and Dependent Care Credit is available for expenses incurred during the summer – and the rest of the year as well.

Camp Sav-a-Dolla

According to the IRS, here’s how the credit stacks up: First, the cost of day camp may count as a qualified expense. Overnight camps, however, do not.

Whether your childcare provider is a sitter at your home, or a daycare facility outside the home, you’ll get some tax benefit if you apply for the credit. The credit can be up to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending on your income.

When you figure the credit, you can use up to $3,000 of the unreimbursed expenses paid in a year for one qualifying individual, or $6,000 for two or more.

The IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, has all the information you need to make sure your summer child care expenses don’t leave you living in a tent in the woods.

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