This article was provided by the Tax Professionals at H&R Block
Do you pay for childcare?
Read this article to understand more about childcare expenses taxes.
Parents spend thousands of dollars a year in childcare expenses, so being able to claim them on your taxes can mean a sizeable deduction. But like any deduction, there are rules and guidelines for what you can and can’t claim. Here are some of the most common considerations:
- No receipt, no claim: Your childcare provider must give you a receipt for childcare expenses. Individuals who offer childcare must provide their Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) on the receipt. If your childcare provider refuses to provide a receipt, you cannot claim the expenses.
- All in the family: If your mother or mother-in-law is caring for your children, you can claim the amount you pay her as childcare expenses. However, she also has to provide a receipt with her SIN and claim the money on her income tax. Remember, you can earn up to $10,527 federally in 2011 before you have to pay income taxes.
- Minors don’t count: If you pay your 12-year-old child to look after brothers and sisters, this is not an eligible childcare expense.
- Lower-income claims: The higher-income spouse can only claim childcare expenses in specific situations; for example, periods during which the lower-income spouse is in school, jail or in hospital. Otherwise, the childcare expenses have to be claimed by the lower-income spouse, and even when the entire amount cannot be used expenses cannot be transferred.
- Maternity leave income: Childcare expenses can only be claimed against employment income and other earned income. And they have to be claimed by the lower income spouse. Maternity leave benefits are not considered earned income for the childcare claim, and generally someone on maternity leave will be the lower income earner.
- Summer camps: You may claim only the childcare portion of this expense, so you should ask your provider for a detailed receipt.
- Lunch-time supervision: If you pay to have your child stay at school to eat lunch, this supervision fee is considered an eligible childcare expense. However, you cannot include the cost of food.
The most important thing is to keep your receipts. Without receipts, you cannot claim any childcare expenses.
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