Do Your Summer-Camp Expenses Qualify You for a Tax Break? Child and Dependent Care Credit can help reduce expenses involved in raising a child
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Summer day-camp expenses for a child or dependent may qualify you for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The credit, which varies based on income, is intended to help reduce expenses involved in raising a child or caring for a dependent.
The tax break applies, for example, to qualified expenses for a dependent child under age 13 to attend day camp, but not overnight camp. To claim the expenses, the taxpayer and spouse (if married) must be working or job hunting while the dependent attends the camp.
More than 500,000 taxpayers claimed nearly $152 million in New York State Child and Dependent Care credits for tax year 2016. The average amount claimed was more than $304.
Keep good records
You must provide proof of how much money you spent on summer day-camp to support your claim for the tax credit. For example:
- copies of cashed checks that were written to and cashed by the summer camp; or
- an itemized statement issued from the camp listing each payment received.
See Checklist for child and dependent care expenses, for more information.
The Tax Department will not accept the following:
- proof of money paid by someone else (such as a friend or relative) directly to the summer camp
- handwritten receipts that weren’t issued at the time of payment and can’t be verified by the Tax Department
- a statement that you made cash payments (or the camp received cash payments) submitted without additional supporting documentation
You don't need a scanner to make copies of your documentation. You can use your smartphone to take a digital picture.
To claim the New York State credit, taxpayers must first qualify for the federal Child and Dependent Care Credit. The New York State credit ranges from 110% of the federal credit, for taxpayers with incomes under $25,000, to 20% if their income is over $150,000. A New York City Child Care Tax Credit is also available to New York City residents with incomes of $30,000 or less with a child or children under age 4.
Dependent-care benefits from an employer will reduce the credit amount; these benefits are included on a taxpayer’s W-2 form.
For more information