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child care

Posted by victory_tea2085 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 16, 09 at 11:56

We pay about 6500 dollars for our 3yo son to go to pre school. The irs only allows us to claim 3000 dollars if it's child care- can we file this expense under education?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: child care

no, you can't


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RE: child care

pk-3 and pk-4 are child care expenses. from K-5 thru 12th grade are regular education expenses and NOT deductible at all. after school care for all grades IS deductable though, so long as it is to allow you to work.


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RE: child care

We pay what we pay now partially because it allows us both to work. We could send him to a cheaper "babysitter" but he wouldn't get any "classes".


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RE: child care

We sent our children to a private Montessori school when they were young. It was well worth the extra expense, IMO. However, the government is HELPING you pay, it's not supposed to pay for the entire tuition. Remember there is a ceiling of 35% of your qualifying expense (so if your total expense is $6500, the credit may only be $2275). I'm not a tax expert so I would check with a tax accountant or lawyer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Claiming the Child and Dependent Care Credit


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RE: child care

jy md,
You said "However, the government is HELPING you pay, it's not supposed to pay for the entire tuition" sorry, just don't know what you mean by that- regards, Paul


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RE: child care

Paul.
The government, the tax payers, is helping you by giving you a tax break on your child care. Im old enough to remember when having children was a personal responsibility not an entitlement.

Your child is your responsibility if you decide to send him to an expensive preschool its your responsibility. Taxpayer pay enough for child care as it is. Take whatever the tax laws allow and be happy that the rest of us taxpayers are paying a share in it at all.


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I'm old enough also and I certainly don't want to burden you. My wife and I make almost 90,000 a year and live at a lower standard than people collecting ssi and ssd. They get free child care while we send them to college for degrees that they'll never use to contribute to society. I don't want you to pay for my child's care while I work- but I would like to be able to claim 6500 dollars if it cost us 6500 dollars- much as you claim 7000 dollars land tax if it costs you 7000 land tax. Do you have children? We pay an exceptional amount of taxes and I take exception to your ignorant reply.


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RE: child care

I agree 100% with partst... and I have kids.

I should NOT be paying for your childcare when you are making 90K. You can afford it.

Be glad you get the credit. And if that is not good enough, get cheaper childcare. Or - gasp! - take care of the child yourself (which is what I did).


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RE: child care

We are not asking anyone to pay for our child, just would like to be able to claim the actual cost- much like you claim the actual cost of many things on your tax forms. I paid school taxes for many years now and without having any children in school- so I paid for your child's education unless (gasp) you home schooled them. Paul


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You ARE asking someone to pay for your child - you want to pay fewer taxes based on your income, a shortfall that would then have to made up by someone else if the childcare tax credits were changed to suit you. This is "the cost of doing business" so to speak.

Oh, and my husband and I do not have children, but happily pay school taxes and vote FOR regular increases in school tax. Statistics correlate higher education rates with lower crime. Even though we aren't "using" the school system by sending a child to school, we are absolutely benefiting. Sorry you are unable to see it the same way.


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RE: child care

Then if someone claims 6500 dollars for medical care for a child- you feel like you're paying that child's medical bills?
This discussion is a little too convoluted me. No one on either side of our family has ever as much as collected unemployment and we are all taxed to the hilt. I am as against socialism as much as many seem to be. Just asking a question as to why we can't claim the total cost of child care. With the current presidency we may have no choice as to what we will have to pay for.


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"Just asking a question as to why we can't claim the total cost of child care. "

Because there has to be a cap on the claim. You exceed the cap.

If you decide to bring in 2 au pairs for child care at the cost of $25K each, should THAT be 100% deductible?

I don't think so.....


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Well put, w_p_luann...

And yes, we would be subsidizing the medical care in your scenario, although you wouldn't be able to deduct that amount anyway because it doesn't exceed 7.5% if your income.

Tax credits can be beneficial. I don't have a problem with tax credits on the whole, but there is a limit to what is reasonable as dictated in the tax code. Will it cover all of your costs to lead the kind of life you CHOOSE? No, and it shouldn't.

This tax code has long been in place before the current presidency. And remember that you will soon rely on the "socialist" service of free and appropriate public education in the near future, unless you CHOOSE otherwise.


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BTW windsorbecks, you are ignorantly believing what most liberals proclaim- more money equals better education. This simply is not true.


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I have to chime in here. Tax credits for child care are put in place to help the working poor to continue working. Sorry, 90K/year may not be a huge sum of money, but you are not one of the "working poor".

Kudos to you for living under your means, as you say you do. But there are income caps and limitations on the tax credit so that the taxpayers don't have to pay for your child. You can clearly afford the school, and if not, you can afford child care.

Is this ideal? No. But I certainly don't want to subsidize your child's spiffy preschool education when I have neighbors who can't afford basic child-care and therefore cannot hold a job, EVEN WHEN THEY WANT TO WORK! These are the people intended to benefit from the child-care benefit. If you get a little bit of this pie, just consider yourself lucky.


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victory_tea2085, in your thinking my tax dollars should pay for your 3 year old to go to pre school?

Our kids are adults and we have to pinch pennies just to live. Our home is worth nothing but our property taxes are outrageous. This year $1210.97 to the high school district, $1491.19 to the grade schools.

You earn $90,000 a year, (I wish) suck it up and deal with it. Children are expensive. Pre School cost is only the start of it.


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I will "suck it up" and live with it. I was just asking what the boundries are because if I can save money for my family and do it within the tax laws, I will do it. I don't get how some of the people on this forum think I am asking them to pay for my child's care. I was asking financial advice and what I ended up getting was reprimanded for asking other's to pay for the care of my child- see ya!!! BTW mary_c, don't know what state you're from but here in Ny the welfares and ssi's get free child care and free education ( which a high percentage never use) - no problem. They also get free child care to attend to their jobs which they sometimes don't even show up for. Tax laws are not all about working poor- they're in place to help the middle class as well and even the rich. My child may be a special needs child but we have yet to explore the funding we may be eligible for due to this, but after corresponding with the selfish lot on this forum- I think I will.


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RE: child care

I think that there has been some misunderstanding here.

victorytea, you were asking whether you could claim the total amount of pre-school fees for your child, rather than just part of them.

The replies were that you could not, that there is a cap on the claim (and I am not sure whether it is the same whether the fee is for mere babysitting, or for pre-school).

When the others claimed that they were helping pay for that cost on your part, it was because the government has made the tax rules so that there are credits for various services which they decided the community should help citizens, or taxpayers, pay for.

There is a vast array of credits which are available for taxpayers, people to use as they are eligible. For example, if you use your car in a self-employed business, there is a complicated set of rules to tell you what expenses you can claim and what not - whether you choose to drive a Chevy or a Hummer. If your costs for the business end of your use of the vehicle are larger than the allowed amount(s) - tough beans: that is all that you can claim.

When a credit is allowed in various amounts to the millions of taxpayers, they avoid paying some tax and, if we grant that the government has a given amount that they need to raise this year, the tax rate that must be paid apart from the total amount of the allowed credits which all of the taxpayers can claim has to be higher.

I think that they were saying that, though childless, they did not feel badly about helping pay for education for everyones child (sorry about the printing - my new computers keyboard and I are not seeing eye-to-eye).

When I lived in a country where people were desperately poor, and had just suffered through a terrrible war, a child could not attend school unless the parents paid an entry fee and monthly fees throughout, for the government was able to offer almost no support, if any.

It made me very thankful for our good fortune in having free education for every child - to the end of secondary school.

ole joyful


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"I was just asking what the boundries are"

You KNEW what the boundary was when you posted... "The irs only allows us to claim 3000 dollars" is in your first post.


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You stated it precisely, western.

Subsequent postings decry the fact that being successful and not dependent on SSI and SSD is somehow a disadvantage in the face of others, less fortunate, getting a great deal of help for which you don't qualify.

Count your blessings with your 90k income and accept what the IRS allows you - many would gladly change places with you. And I'm not being snarky. :-)


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RE: child care

i guess I was hoping someone would be able to tell me how to expand those boundaries- legally. My son has had 4 surgeries in his short life, with another one scheduled in March. He misses a lot of days at preschool and my wife and I use up all our vacation time for appts etc. We are really having a difficult time financially and want to benefit from all the tax breaks we can. I thought that was one of the topics of discussion on this forum - only to be sarcastically put down and accused of being a leech. My wife and I will take care of our son, so, rest easy fellow taxpayers. Paul


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Sorry your son has had a rough ride. Have you looked into taking your FMLA with your employers? It is not usually paid time off, but it might give you some time to care for your son/take a break from the preschool bills for a month. Any out of pocket medical bills, including mileage, exceeding 7.5% of your AGI are deductible. Insurance premiums are not included in this amount. There is probably more you can take, just not with child care. You might want to speak with a tax consultant and plan for this year while the year is young, especially if your son is likely to require intensive care this year also. There is a possibility that one of you working p/t or not at all might actually save you money. Be well.


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VT - Absolutely explore the funding available for your special needs child right away. Take advantage of every opportunity for him at this young age. You did not say what his needs are but often the sooner services start, the better the outcome. I have a special needs child and in no way regret taking advantage of the services available for my son. Our entire society benefits when we help those who need it realize their ultimate potential.


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Paul,

I am sorry to hear about your son. I'm also sorry to see that you have been placed in a defensive posture. It is the right of every American to take all the credits and deductions legally available to them under the tax code.

Here's a straight up tax answer to your tax question plus a solid piece of advice to expand that boundary you were talking about.

You are, indeed, limited to claiming up to $3000 of child care expenses towards the child and dependent care credit for the 2008 tax year. Please keep in mind that the amount credited is based on your income and will, likely, be far less than a straight $3000 dollar for dollar credit. Given your income, I would ballpark the credit as worth around $600.

You wondered about the availability of deducting expenses for education. Deductions for education expenses are available only for post-secondary education from eligible institutions. The costs of private pre-K, elementary, or secondary education are not eligible because they are not providing post-secondary education.

Next year, however, you may want to consider paying for your son's pre-school expenses through a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)if a program is available through your's or your wife's employers.

Paying for child care through a pre-tax FSA may save you more money than the tax credit because the FSA lowers your taxable income. At your income level, lowering your taxable income might be more valuable than the credit. Also, the federal child care credit may not flow through to your state taxes but the lower taxable income from the FAS will lower your state taxable income.

The choice is based on your specific financial and tax circumstances but you may want to consult a tax advisor and check it out!

If you have many unreimbursed medical expenses, a health care FSA might be helpful. You must have over 7.5% in unreimbursed medical to qualify for a medical deduction and even then you may deduct only the portion exceeding $7500. Again, a health care FSA would lower your taxable income which might provide greater savings.


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thanks for the understanding of some on this site- I was reluctant at 1st to mention my child's medical conditions as we did not want to apply for aid due to the effect it may have on him i.e. being stereotyped. Now I think we will- to survive. He is a beautiful little boy with the heart of a lion and we owe it to him to get financial assistance. i am really disappointed in the responses I received from people who ignorantly perceived I was asking them for child care. My family has always, always taken care of it's own, we just happened to run into something that is above our income. To some- thank you- to others- go to hell!!!


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i am really disappointed in the responses I received from people who ignorantly perceived I was asking them for child care.

You repeatedly received factual information about the limits of the child care tax credit as it pertains to your case. We all have a long list of ACTUAL expenses we would like to claim and get a 20+% tax CREDIT, unfortunately there are limits/exclusions. I think most commentors are dismayed at your sense of entitlement, that all of YOUR child care expenses should deserve a tax credit. Rather than being grateful that you already receive at least a $600 credit for these costs.


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victory_tea2085, you started off saying you earn $90,000 a year and wanted ideas on how to pay for pre school. You received the answers you asked for by only asking that.

Well into this thread, now you say your son is disabled. What is his disability?

If you tell us that along with which state you live in, many folks on here have disabled kids and will be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction.


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My son has hemihypertropy, a rare growth disorder. I will take my discussion elsewhere, however, because of chris8796's assertion that I have a sense of entitlement. I have paid taxes up the a$$ for all my life and have never, ever burdened the taxpayers with any claims. The people on this forum are just not the type of people I would ever confide in. I was merely asking, legally, what I could claim and never asked for others to pay for my child's care. They have told me to "suck it up" and to 'be grateful for the 600$" etc. Not exactly what a parent in financial crisis is looking for. We will take care of our little child and I thank many of the bitter people on this forum- for nothing!!!!!!1


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If you had stated the problem up front, you would certainly have had different responses. The situation you initially stated made no mention of a disabled child.

Most states have programs for disabled children, and you should use them. Possibly there are federal programs, too, I just don't know.

But these issues are not normally addressed by the Internal Revenue's tax laws. There are tax credits for day care, not for education. There are income caps on the credits. You exceed them. I'm all for you getting every single tax credit you can, but the education credit does not apply to your situation.

Explore your other options.


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Sorry, but the issue I stated "up front" was can I get more deductions for my child's day care. It was strictly financial and I certainly wasn't asking others to support my child- as they accused me of. There are few members on this forum
that are petty and bitter(about who knows what). I will, in the future, take my questions to a more civil forum.


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Hi victorytea 2085,

Please - don't sweat the small stuff.

Sometimes it pays to develop a somewhat thicker skin.

My Dad used to suggest that, when someone said something that we felt was too critical and unfair, that we should let it roll like water off of a duck's back.

I think that sometimes people are more inclined to be blunt and more critical on the internet than they would be when meeting face to face.

Many of us are pleased that usually people are treated with courtesy and consideration on these forums than is usual on many other areas of the internet.

When people have said critical things to me here, I give it some thought as to the level of validity that there may be, and then consider it to be that person's opinion, which is his/her right to express.

As I heard someone say some time ago, and think that there's a lot to it ... when someone says, "He makes me mad" ... just remember, that when you let someone "make you mad" you're giving him/her a substantial measure of control over your life. And I like to be in charge of my own life.

No one can :"make you mad" ... unless you give them permission.

I hope that you find what services may be available to be of the best possible assistance to your son.

Good wishes to you and your family.

ole joyful


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ole joyful;
Thanks much for your wisdom. My family has never asked anyone for anything and I am a true conservative. I don't like asking for help and, most likely, if we didn't pay mega taxes for everyone's health care who chooses not to work, we could pay our own. I work in the "helping profession" and could tell you many stories of people who could work but choose not to. It's the flaw in our system that is attempting to provide for those who are truly disabled. I was asking for tax breaks I could take advantage of ( legally) and people were treating me like I was a neo-marxist leech. I am not that type of person and always have and always will pay my way. No big deal, I don't fret about the responses, I simply will seek a more civil, less angry group of people to confide in- much like yourself. Paul


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Thanks also to novahomesick for the unbiased, informative response. Paul


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These comments have gotten way out of control.

The idea that giving a tax break to people w/ kids in daycare is equivalent to everyone else paying for child care is rediculous! By that same logic, is everyone who rents paying for the mortgage deducition homeowners take?? So I'm paying for your house? Do you see how little sense that makes. And don't get me started about public schools. I grew up in a town w/ a terrible public school so my parents paid taxes on a school that was unusable to them and sent me to private school. I say give me money to chose where to send my kids to school. I'd even be fine w/ cancelling public school all together in favor of a more efficient private system. But you aren't supporting my kid's education anymore than I'm payin your mortgage. I'd even go extremely far and say you could cancell all tax deductions and make a flat tax.

I use my work sponsered FSA to the max, which is $5K. And that is a complete joke where I live (PA/NJ border). Daycare is $900 - $1,000/kid/month across the board for a lisenced facility. When I'm paying $24K/yr in child care, $5K is a joke. It should be upped to a reasonable number. Or how about capping the interest you are able to deduct from your mortgage to $5K/yr. It would make just as much sense.

And depending on where you live $90K for 2 parents w/ a kid is far from well off. Definately not upper middle class. They both work so they need 2 reliable cars, car insurance, rent/mortgage, property taxes, utilities, health insurance etc. If they have a kid in daycare w/ other special needs, I could definatley see it being tough to get buy on $90K.


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Well said crisdoc, if I had asked how to get more deductions for rental property, I think the bitters on this board would have been far more civil. Because it was about child care, I was perceived as a leech. I think this reveals their priorities! windsorbecks reply that he always votes for higher school taxes also indicates what side of politics he's coming from. I said I was going to seek a more civil bunch to to discuss this issue with, and I have, but have you noticed the distinct silence of the bitters on this topic?


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Victory - consider this... what if your taxes went up one year because the gov't decided that a bunch of people wanted a more-expensive-than-necessary school for your kids - who were already reduced to eating toast and peanut butter for lunch due to completely involuntary circumstances (not chosen or engineered by their parent(s)? Can't you understand that your taking tax money to provide fancier day care for your kids has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is everyone's else's taxes? That's all anyone was trying to get you to realize. Tax deductions don't come from the sky - they come from all of us, most of whom cannot afford anything but very basic day care (a lot of which may just be the next door lady babysitting). I DO get that you were just asking... wanted an answer, but your having taken such a stand with regard to the rest of us pointing out the realities of it all is a bit over the top.


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Lucy, the same arguement applies to home mortgage deductions. I live in what I consider a modest house. So my taxes are theoretically higher because some people chose to live in nicer houses and they get to deduct all their interest. "Can't you understand that they are taking tax money to provide a fancier house for their family has to come from somewhere and that somehwere is everyone elses taxes?" How about if we capped the interest deduction at $3,000? This is no different from the daycare arguement.

And in regards to the people who use the "next door sitter". This term typically applies to an "under the table" arrangement. So anyone who does this is actually cheating on their taxes which not only costs everyone else money but it is also illegal.


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I agree this had gotten out of control. Paul asked a direct question about the child care deduction and was given the correct answers in the first few posts. He didnt like the answer and has been whining about it every since.

So far he has called some of us ignorant, selfish, sarcastically petty, bitter, and suggested we have a perception problem. On top of that we were told to go to H@ll. Although I have never seen kind of language or attitude on this forum before he is entitled to his opinion!

Paul.
Sorry you dont like my opinion but I am still entitled to have one. My opinion is ALL entitlements should be eliminated from the tax code. That ALL deductions, that are a personal choice, should be eliminated. Why should anyone pay less of a share just because they choose to have children? The personal exemptions we get for ourselves and our children already cover it.

The mortgage deduction should have gone the same way the interest deduction on consumer credit went. Everyone should pay a fair share on a level playing field. We all share in the cost of public education, public safety, national security, and things like public libraries and parks.If you want private school, a home library, a personal body guard, a swimming pool and swing set in your back yard thats your choice but I really dont want to subsidize it. Thats just my personal opinion. I may not like it but as I said before if the tax code allows it, find yourself a qualified tax preparer, take advantage of every deduction you are legally entitled to.

Again this is just My personal opinion and I am not slamming you personally, although I suspect that you may not see it that way, the sense of entitlement we now have in this country is a large part of whats wrong with the economy now.


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fartst, you have never seen the word "hell" on the forum- think you need to code h@ll, you,ve led a sheltered life. i agree that all entitlements should be eliminated from the tax code but we have the wrong president for that to happen. This is a financial forum and I was asking a question about deductions for my son's child care. I had many responses indicating that I felt "entitled" and that I should be happy with the deductions I get. A few offered rational suggestions. Some suggested I wanted them to support my child. You, a foolish conservative, think you're not going to pay for others welfare, are going to wake up with Obama in charge. btw why do you capitalize My opinion- are you narcissus? Why are you- an obvious non parent, whining about my interest in getting the most out of my child's day care costs? We are struggling emotionally as well as financially and have no need for your icy cold posts. btw my wife and my very ill child wish you to go to hell as well as other posters who worship the god almighty dollar. As indicated in my previous posts, we have never asked anyone for anything but, right now, need some help.


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Partist, I find it interesting that you consider tax deductions a form of entitlement. I guess I see them as an attempt at social engineering where the gov't is trying to reward certain behaviors. (i.e. having kids (read future tax payers), donating to charity etc) I would like to see a new flat tax system but I would be against the removal of all deductions from the current system based on the fact that eliminating deductions would give the gov't more money that it would leverage to get into more debt. I don't want to make this a political debate because I don't currently agree w/ the politics of either party. Either way, we will never see a tax system that does not have deducitons or loop holes. D's and R's reward their constituents by changing the loop holes to favor their side. Politicians would loose too much power if they weren't allowed to put loop holes in tax laws.

Brining this back to the original discussion, if we live in a society that is going to have a social engineered tax system that favors certain activities, I believe that having children and education are some of the activities that should be favored. There would be severe economic issues that would arise if we faced a decreasing population or a decreasing level of eduction of the population.

If you want to get rid of entitlements, I'd like to start w/ getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Then we could eleminate the coorporate welfare we are doling out to AIG, GM, Citi and the others. Once that is done we could shake down the dept of defense for their waste (they may be the least efficient organization in the world). After that we would need to do something about healthcare inequality where our taxes pay for lifetime healthcare of federal and state workers but almost no private companies offer that benefit.

I think our quest for elemination of entitlements should start there and not with working parents trying to find suitable daycare for their children.


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Victory, why not give it a rest, already? I think by now most of us understand your views about the topic, your presidential pick, your feelings about the people on this forum, etc. You said you were leaving this forum for a more civilized one...


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I will do that but, one last thing, who do you think my presidential pick was?


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Just what I thought!!


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