With summer in full swing, there are many advertisements for summer camps: ballet camps, acting camps, cooking camps, music summer camps, and more. As you decide what camp to send your kids to, you probably have one question on your mind. With the high cost of summer camps, is anything tax deductible if you send your kids to one (or more)?
Read on to find out.
The Good News
There are many things that you can use as a tax write off either under the Child Care Credit, or medical expenses. (A quick note: The Child Care Credit can apply to up to 35% of $3,000 of unreimbursed expenses for children under 14 whose parents work during the day. Medical expenses are only deductible if your expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, and you itemize on a Schedule A.)
Tax deductible items include:
- Physical exam. If the summer camp requires a physical exam, you can write off that cost.
- Shots. Any vaccines and immunizations required by the summer camp are preventative care, and are tax deductible.
- Summer Camp Fees. Any fees associated with the camp can qualify for a deduction.
The Bad News
Unfortunately, not everything is tax deductible. Here are some things that don’t apply.
- The supplies that you buy in order to send your child to a summer camp is not tax deductible. This includes sports equipment, clothing, furniture, etc. These things are personal in nature.
- If you or your spouse are stay at home parents, the credits and deductions won’t count.
- If the camp is an overnight camp, you will not be able to count that, although it is fun to get away from the kids for a few days.
- You have to send your own kids to the camps. The credit does not apply if you pay to send your neighbor’s kids or nieces/nephews to camp.
- The camp you send your children to has to be an actual child care provider. You cannot set a tent up in your backyard and call it good.
- If you sign up for a summer camp, and then cancel it later, you cannot claim credit or a deduction, even if there are nonrefundable fees. It will only count if your child attends the camp.
- Transportation to and from camp unless the camp provides it is not deductible.
If you have any questions, review IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, or contact us here at Klingler CPA.