Can I Deduct Summer Camp Expenses?

If you send your kids to camp this summer, you might be able to deduct the cost on your tax return. The IRS allows a deduction for summer day camps, but not for overnight camps. In order for a day camp to be deductible, you have to meet two basic rules.

  1. Your child must be under age 13.
  2. The expenses must be incurred so you can work or look for work.

These are the same rules that have to be met in order to deduct daycare expenses.  The cost of the day camp would be included with your other childcare expenses, such as daycare expenses. You can claim up to $3,000 of childcare expenses per child per year, up to a maximum of $6,000 total for two or more kids. You then get to claim a credit of between 20-35% of that amount, depending on your income.

As mentioned earlier, the cost of overnight camps is not deductible, nor is the cost of sending your kids to summer school.

This is a basic overview of the subject. As always, if you have specific questions about your situation, consult your tax advisor.