Outdoor Deductions for the Summer

For family child care providers, summer means spending a lot of time outside with children.

Here are some possible outdoor business deductions:

  • Children’s toys: baseball, basketball, soccer ball, Frisbee, skateboard, tricycles, bicycles, wagon, bike helmet, jump rope, riding toys, roller skates, scooters, etc.
  • Children’s activities: admission charges for museum/zoo/recreation center/swimming pool, camera/film/development, burn spray or lotion, picnics, etc.
  • Children’s equipment: swing set, picnic table, playhouse, wading pool (if allowed by licensing rules), water toys, sandbox/sand, etc.
  • Outdoor items: lawn mower, lawn/deck furniture, lawn maintenance service, lawn sprinkler, hedge trimmer, garden hose, gloves, tools (rake, shovel, etc.), wheelbarrow, plants, flowers, shrubs, trees, flower pots, mulch, etc.
  • Other:  grill, shed, power tools, window air conditioner, ceiling fan, wind chimes, swimming pool, fence around the pool, etc.

Just because you purchased one of the above items doesn’t necessarily mean you can deduct it. You must first use an item in your business.

If you do use it in your business, you must then determine how much of the cost you can deduct. If you use it 100% for your business (no personal use), then you can deduct 100% of the cost. Obviously, the outdoor items listed above are not all 100% business.

If you use an item for business and personal purposes, you can deduct part of the cost. Most child care providers will use their Time-Space percentage to determine the business portion.

If you save your receipts for all of the above expenses, you can worry about the details of how to deduct them at tax time. For now, enjoy the summer outdoors!

Join The Child Care Business Partnership!

Minute Menu (now KidKare!) and Tom Copeland have teamed up to offer you the chance to reduce your taxes, receive direct assistance if you are audited, and personalized business advice so you can be more successful. For $15 a year you can join The Child Care Business Partnership and start receiving direct help from Tom Copeland in using Minute Menu Kids Pro. This includes having Tom review your 2015 or 2014 tax return to help you spot mistakes and correct them. For more information: http://www.tomcopelandblog.com/2013/07/the-child-care-business-partnership-tom-copeland-minute-menu-and-you.html, or email Tom at tomcopeland@live.com



Tom Copeland

I've been the nation's leading trainer, author, and advocate on the business of family child care since 1981. I'm a licensed attorney and have presented hundreds of business workshops for family child care providers across the country. I answer thousands of calls and emails each year to help providers, tax professionals and trainers understand complex business and tax issues. Call me at 651-280-5991. Email me at tomcopeland@live.com. Visit me on Facebook. From 1981 to 2009 I worked at Resources for Child Caring in Minnesota (now called Think Small), where I was director of Redleaf National Institute for 15 years. I've written nine books on the business of family child care published by Redleaf Press, a division of Resources for Child Caring. I was on the board of directors of First Children's Finance, a non-profit organization providing low interest loans and consulting and technical assistance to help family child care providers suceed as a business. They operate in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Here are some YouTube videos of me talking about my work with this organization and the business of family child care. I graduated from Macalester College (BA) in 1972 and from William Mitchell College of Law (JD) in 1980. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota with my wife Diane and two cats, Duke and Ella.