Can You Deduct Summer Day Camp Expenses?

basketball
If you're sending your son to a basketball camp this summer, you may be able to write off some costs related to the camp as a tax deduction.
If you’re sending your son to a basketball camp this summer, you may be able to write off some costs related to the camp as a tax deduction.

Like the classic Alice Cooper song says, “School’s out for summer!” If you have young kids, you’ve probably been pulling your hair out trying to keep them occupied this summer. Fortunately, there are plenty of camps out there for kids of all ages. There is even some icing on the cake  as well – an opportunity to save on your taxes when incurring summer day camp costs.

Summer Day Camp Deductions

If you’ve ever sent a child to a summer camp, you probably know how expensive it can be. Plus, many camps are only held a few hours per day and often are not every day of the week, meaning you’ll need to find other ways to keep the kids active. The good news is that when it comes to taxes, you can deduct certain expenses related to sending your son or daughter to a camp. These include the costs of physical exams to ensure your child is healthy enough, immunizations or shots to prevent potential diseases, and fees that many doctor’s offices charge for pediatricians to fill out camp forms for their patients.
In general, however, the actual costs you pay to a camp are not considered a write-off. But there are ways to use these costs to claim a tax credit. Other camp items like sports gear, clothing, furniture, and fans are not tax deductible for summer camp purposes, even if the camps require your child to bring them along specifically for the camp.

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

In addition to tax deduction opportunities, you may also qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit with regard to summer day camps. In most cases, any camp fees parents incur are considered qualifying expenses for this tax-saving measure. Even camps that revolve around a specific activity like soccer camps or football camps do qualify. Plus, the costs of a daycare center or babysitting service in your home may qualify as well. In terms of its value, the credit can be worth up to 35% of your qualifying expenses related to childcare depending on your annual income. There are a few notable restrictions on the credit to be aware of. It’s nice to get a break by sending your kids to a sleep-away camp, but overnight camps do not qualify for this credit. Parents must also be working at the time or in search of employment when sending their kids off to a summer day camp in order to take advantage of the credit. Finally, this tax credit is generally only available to parents of children under the age of 13 or disabled dependents of any age.

To learn about more IRS tax deductions and ways to reduce how much you pay Uncle Sam each year, consider teaming up with the experienced accounting experts at 1-800Accountant. Call 1-888-749-0117 or click over to www.1-800Accountant.

Photo credit: The image of the basketball net is used with permission via the Creative Commons license through Flickr.

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