The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows parents and legal guardians to claim summer camp expenses as tax credit. But there are rules and restrictions that must be kept in mind when declaring and claiming the costs with the more important as follows.
Qualified Child Care Provider
If you are thinking of setting up a de facto summer camp with tents in your backyard, you shouldn’t take the trouble. You cannot claim it as tax credit since IRS rules state that you must make payments to a qualified child care provider instead of your spouse, your dependent, and/or your qualifying child’s parent. You will be required to state the registered name, complete address, and bona fide tax identification number on the federal form for the tax credit to be claimed in your favor.
Note: If the child care provider happens to be your biological or adoptive child, you shouldn’t declare him/her to be your dependent and he/she must be at least 19 years old by the end of the taxable year. This will result in a qualifying tax break but when in doubt, you can always ask your tax consultant at H&R Block.
Virtually Everything Needed to Send Kids to Camp are Non-deductible Expenses
You may rant about this restriction but it is what it is – virtually everything that you purchased for your kid’s summer camp is considered non-deductible expense. Even when you bought expensive clothes, sports gear, and pieces of furniture, among other items, cannot be declared as deductible expenses since these are considered personal in nature. You may want to reconsider buying the expensive sports gear your child has been asking for especially when the tax credit is smaller than its cost.
Fortunately, some of the expenses in getting your kid ready for summer camp are considered deductible. You can deduct these expenses:
- Physical exams since a person doesn’t have to be sick for a physical wellness exam to be deductible
- Vaccines and immunization since these are considered as preventative care
- Doctor’s fees to complete the forms for the summer camp
But before claiming these expenses, you have to itemize them on a Schedule A. You must ensure, too, that the total medical expenses paid during the taxable year exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI).
You cannot also claim summer camp expenses if your child didn’t actually receive the child care services, such as when you paid for the down payment but you changed your mind and enrolled your child in another camp.