Are Overnight Camps Tax Deductible?
Are Overnight Camps Tax Deductible?

Are Overnight Camps Tax Deductible?

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Ah, good old summertime – what a wonderful relaxing time of the year. Unless you have kids, of course, in which case there’s a whirlwind of activity in your house as soon as school is out.

But then comes the blessed time of summer camp, when peace is restored for at least a few days. Although camp can be expensive, keep in mind that some of those expenses may be tax deductible. Here’s the scoop:

  1. If you send the kids away to the mountains for a week, you won’t garner a tax deduction since overnight camps and programs don’t qualify. Summer day camps, however, qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, as long as your child is under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year (no age limit if they are disabled) and you are sending your child to camp so you can work.
  2. The Child and Dependent Care Credit enables you to work or go to school, so if you have a spouse at home to care for the children, then no deduction for camp. But if you are single, or you and your spouse both work, cha-ching, you’ll qualify for the tax credit.
  3. Sending the kids into the backyard to camp out doesn’t qualify as camp. You have to make payment for camp to a real institution or person, and you must include their address and identifying number on your tax return.
  4. Your transportation costs to get the kids to the camp location won’t qualify for the credit. But if the cost of transportation to and from camp is included in the fees, and the camp picks up and delivers, sweet – that qualifies for the tax credit.

So if you qualify, what is the tax credit worth? To begin, tax credits are more valuable than tax deductions, since credits reduce your tax bill dollar for dollar, so the tax savings add up quickly. For the 2021 tax year only, the taxes you do in 2022, the Child and Dependent Care Credit ranges increased from 35% up to 50% (previously the credit ranged from 20% to 35%) of what you spent on daycare up to the $8,000 limit for one child or up to the $16,000 limit for two or more kids. Your tax credit percentage depends on your adjusted gross income (AGI) so depending on your income, you may get a tax credit up to $4,000 for one child and up to $8,000 for two or more kids.

Don’t worry about knowing these tax rules. TurboTax asks you simple questions about you and gives you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live tax expert with an average 12 years experience to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live tax experts are available in English and Spanish and can help you along the way or you can fully hand over your taxes to them.

5 responses to “Are Overnight Camps Tax Deductible?”

  1. The gist is that it’s not day camp, it’s daycare/childcare. There is a drop off day camp near my office that is like this and would qualify. You are most likely to benefit if the kids do not already have some sort of daycare arrangement during the school year since if they do you will have other expenses already you can use to qualify.

  2. The gist is that it’s not really camp/day camp, it childcare. This assumes you haven’t already used up your credits for the year.

  3. Will Turbo Tax ask me about this when I’m doing my taxes, or is this something I’ll need to remember on my own? Last year I entered summer camp costs as daycare costs since it technically was daycare so I could work, is this the same thing?

  4. So if my kids are sent to a week long overnight camp it isn’t tax deductible? It’s only for when it’s a day/ day by day camp? As in I pick them up and drop them off each day.

    • Hi Guy,
      Yes, that is correct. It is only for day camp and not overnight camps.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

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