Enrolling your child in summer camp? You might be entitled to a tax credit.

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Here in our Chicago South Loop Tax Preparation, and our Homewood Il, Tax preparation offices, we specialize in helping taxpayers legally reduce their taxable income, claim every tax deduction they are entitled to, and maximize tax credits. Through our work of helping taxpayers, we’ve come to find that many people often miss the Federal Child and Dependent Care Credit. The Federal child and dependent care tax credit refunds taxpayers a portion of the expenses paid for the care of dependent children and other dependents (qualifying persons). 

Since summer is almost here, we wanted to give you some tips on what you need to do to claim the federal Child and Dependent Care credit if you have children (or disabled siblings/parents that you care for) that you plan on enrolling into a summer DAY camp program (so that you can work, or look for work). You’ll notice that we’ve put emphasis on summer DAY camp programs, as overnight summer camp programs are not eligible for the credit. Below please find some key points to claiming the Federal Child and Dependent Care Credit.

🔶The credit is equal to a percentage (from 35%-20%) of the amount you paid for daycare or summer camp attendance, and daycare throughout the year (up to $6,000 for 2 children, & $3,000 for 1 child). However, if you have 2 qualifying children, and paid expenses of $6,000 for only 1 child, you would be able to use the entire $6,000 to figure your credit, even though you only paid expenses for 1 child. To illustrate, Susan is a single mother earning $40,000 a year and has 2 children ages 8 & 12. The local park district is offering an 8-week summer day camp for $100 a week per child totaling $1,600 ($800 per child). Throughout the year, the 8-year-old goes to an afterschool daycare that charges $85 a week for 40 weeks totaling $3,400. At tax time Susan calculates that she paid a total of $5,000 in dependent care expenses, and her income level entitles her to a 22% reimbursement ($1,100) of the amount paid for care. If Susan has a $4,000 tax liability and was receiving a $500 refund, the $1,100 dollar-or-dollar tax credit will reduce her tax liability to $2,900 and increase her tax refund to $1,600.

🔷You must have earned income. Earned income is defined as W2 Income, rideshare driving, food delivery person, MLM business, self-employment, etc. 

🔶The provider must provide you with their name, EIN (unless it’s a tax-exempt organization like a church or school), and address. 

🔷You must provide your tax professional with the amount paid to the provider PER CHILD. 

🔶The dependent(s) must be age 13 or under. 

🔷You must be the custodial parent. 

🔶There are no minimum or maximum income limits on this credit. 

🔷If your filing status is married filing separately, you must have lived apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of the year. You don’t have to be legally separated, but you must be able to prove that you lived apart from your spouse. 

🔶 Sometimes you can file married filing separately, and the person may not qualify as your dependent for head of household status, earned income credit, etc., but they can still qualify as your person for the Federal Child and dependent care credit tax credit. For example, you left your cheating spouse in May, and you’re the primary caregiver for your disabled sister. Your disabled sister receives a monthly dividend check of $400 from her ownership of Ford stock (left to her by your parents). While your sister isn’t your qualifying dependent because her gross income is more than $4,400, you can still claim the child and dependent care credit for any dependent care expenses that you pay on her behalf. 

Although we’ve given you the basics, this article is not all-inclusive. Should you have questions, or need business tax preparation, business entity creation, business insurance, or business compliance assistance please contact us online, or call our office at 855-743-5765. Make sure to join our newsletter for more tips on reducing taxes, and increasing your wealth.

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