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Take a Tax Write-off for Summer Camp Costs

Day-camp expenses may be eligible for the child-care credit. But overnight camp doesn’t count.

My children are going to camp this summer while I work. Are the costs eligible for the child-care tax credit?

If your children attend a day camp (not an overnight camp) while you work or look for work, then the expenses may be eligible for the child-care credit. To qualify, the children must be under age 13 when the care is provided, and both you and your spouse (if filing taxes jointly) must either have earned income during the year or be a full-time student. Other eligible expenses include the cost of day care, preschool (before kindergarten), a nanny or babysitter, and before-school or after-school care so you can work.

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Up to $3,000 of child-care expenses can count toward the credit for one child, or up to $6,000 for two or more children. The credit is worth 20% to 35% of the cost of care, depending on your income (the lower your income, the higher the percentage eligible for the credit). If you earn more than $43,000 in 2016, for example, the credit is worth 20% of your eligible expenses, or $600 for one child and $1,200 for two children.

To receive the credit, submit IRS Form 2441 when you file your income taxes. You’ll need to include the care provider’s name and tax ID or Social Security number. For more information, see IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

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