IRS offers tax credit for summer camp expenses


Sacramento Bee
Sunday, July 31, 2011

SACRAMENTO — Working parents, take note: You could get some summertime tax relief from the IRS.

If you’ve enrolled your kids in summer day camps while you’re at work, or even while looking for work, you may be eligible for a tax credit.

Under existing rules, up to 35 percent of qualifying day camp expenses can be claimed as a federal child-care tax credit for children under 13.

“We want to let parents know that a summer day camp can qualify for a tax credit, just as a day care center or hiring a baby sitter can qualify during the school year,” said IRS spokesman Jesse Weller.

It’s part of the federal child and dependent care tax credit, which allows a maximum 35 percent credit.

For incomes above $43,000, the percentage drops to 20 percent.

Qualifying expenses for the tax credit are limited to $3,000 a year for one child or $6,000 for two or more. So if you’re eligible for the maximum 35 percent with one child, you could claim a credit of $1,050.

There’s even an IRS YouTube video: “Summer Day Camp Expenses.”

More details also are in IRS Publication 503, “Child and Dependent Care Expenses,” available online at or by calling 800-829-3676.

But note: Overnight camps don’t count toward the day care tax credit.

The only qualifying expenses are for day camps used by parents who are working or looking for work.