SUMMER CAMPS = TAX DEDUCTIONS…how to get Uncle Sam to pay for your kids summer camp!

As the school year comes to an end and the smell of summer is in the air most of you have plans to send your children to summer camp. As a child I will never forget the memories I made at summer camp. Not only is camp great for the kids, but it is a big break for their parents. Not only does it get the kids out of your hair for a week, but did you know it could possibly save you on taxes as well?


If you have your child in day care or an after school program you are probably familiar with the Child Care Credit. This credit allows families to claim up to 35% of qualifying expenses or $3,000 for one dependent, and up to $6,000 for two or more dependents.


Here are a few rules/tips to remember when looking into a summer camp that will qualify for the credit.


  1. Children must be under age 13


  1. Expenses must be work-related – This means you must pay for care so you can work or look for work. This applies to both you and your spouse if your filing a joint return.


  1. Supplies do not qualify – Whether it’s a sports camp, art camp or church camp; anything you buy such as supplies do not qualify towards the credit.


  1. Only day camps qualify – This means the week long camp on the lake does not qualify. Also summer school tutoring doesn’t qualify either. The type of camps you need to look for are day camps (Where you take your child in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon)


  1. Payments to an institution – The YMCA is a great example. Most institutions are going to have a TIN or an EIN so when you report this on your taxes you will have receipts from a government recognized organization.


Summer camps can be expensive so being able to get a tax break for your kids having fun is exciting news, but remember you can only deduct up to $3,000 a year per child. So if your children are enrolled in day care or after school child care during the year you need to look at your annual child care expense before signing your kids up for every summer camp in the area.


Click Here to explore several affordable options for families in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area.

Posted in