Summer camp tax credits

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Your child’s summer camp could qualify you for a tax break.

The Child and Dependent Care 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 expenses for kids under the age of 13 for day camp but not overnight camp.

To claim the expense, the parents must be working or job hunting while the child is in camp. The parents will also have to provide proof of how much money they spent.

The following is additional information required by the state to qualify:

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 dependant 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.

Guidelines

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

NYS Child and Dependent Care Credit

NYS Recordkeeping Suggestions for Child-Care Expenses

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