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Daycare and Taxes>Getting Credit For Working Before Or After Daycare
Jennifer91 08:48 AM 02-20-2012
I know I read somewhere on these posts about how much time we can claim before or after daycare for cleaning, meal prep, curriculum, etc...

Does anyone know where to find it or know it off the top of their head? Thanks.
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MarinaVanessa 08:56 AM 02-20-2012
That I know of, there is no limit as to how much time you can claim doing business related things after the kids are gone for the day. I do know that the more time you spend doing daycare related things the better because it raises your time/space %. You have to keep a good log though and if you're going to claim the time you spend cleaning then you also record the time that you spend doing your own personal cleaning. For example if you would normally sweep once a day you have to log one time a day as personal cleaning and the rest of the time sweeping as business.

I print monthly calendars and hole punch them and put them in a binder along with my sign-in sheets. It's convenient for me this way and as I'm working I'm jotting it down. Others buy two calendars and do it that way, some just keep a notebook and log the time that way. It doesn't matter how you log it, just make sure that you do.

Oh and only the time that you spend at home counts. For example, if you take a college child development class (there are other exceptions to claiming classes but I won't go into that) you can't claim the time you spend in class but you can claim the mileage getting there and back and the time you spend doing homework at home.
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wdmmom 09:37 AM 02-20-2012
I was told by my accountant that you take your business hours you are open and can add 2 hours per day for cleaning, prep, paperwork, shopping, etc.
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MarinaVanessa 01:02 PM 02-20-2012
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
I was told by my accountant that you take your business hours you are open and can add 2 hours per day for cleaning, prep, paperwork, shopping, etc.
Yeah and my accountant told me that I could only claim mileage on one of my cars and that it had to be the same car year after year . Unless the accountant specializes in family childcare I take what she says like a grain of salt. I have Tom Copelands record-keeping book and this year I put it in my tax folder when I gave it to her and highlighted and marked (with sticky tabs) all of the places that say otherwise to everything that she told me last year .

The thing is that family childcare has ALOT of different rules than a typical "home business" would have and tax preparers aren't always familiar with these. That's why I use MMK to keep track of my time, money and expenses. I print the reports out and all of the hard work is done for her. ALl she has to do is plug the information in to the right spots (which is greek to me). She even told me last year that cleaners and household supplies weren't tax deductible <--- face I gave her.
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wdmmom 03:23 PM 02-20-2012
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
Yeah and my accountant told me that I could only claim mileage on one of my cars and that it had to be the same car year after year . Unless the accountant specializes in family childcare I take what she says like a grain of salt. I have Tom Copelands record-keeping book and this year I put it in my tax folder when I gave it to her and highlighted and marked (with sticky tabs) all of the places that say otherwise to everything that she told me last year .

The thing is that family childcare has ALOT of different rules than a typical "home business" would have and tax preparers aren't always familiar with these. That's why I use MMK to keep track of my time, money and expenses. I print the reports out and all of the hard work is done for her. ALl she has to do is plug the information in to the right spots (which is greek to me). She even told me last year that cleaners and household supplies weren't tax deductible <--- face I gave her.
Experience?! Uh yes, I don't play around when it comes to my taxes. My tax professional is the same guy that's been doing Nannyde's! He's comes very reputable.

Tax rules and regs change each year. And, yes, cleaners and household supplies are tax deductible based on the t/s%.
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MarinaVanessa 04:54 PM 02-20-2012
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
Experience?! Uh yes, I don't play around when it comes to my taxes. My tax professional is the same guy that's been doing Nannyde's! He's comes very reputable.

Tax rules and regs change each year. And, yes, cleaners and household supplies are tax deductible based on the t/s%.
Sorry, I guess I rubbed you the wrong way somehow?

I read your post about adding 2 hours a day and to me it seemed that you were saying that doing it that way was the correct way. I know that doing that would leave me with less time/space % than what I actually have. I know I spent more than 10 hours a week doing daycare related things when I don't have kids here and Tom Copeland recommended to me to use the hours that the daycare kids were in care and then add the time I spent doing DC related things to get my time/space %. Again sorry if I offended you in any way , not my intention.
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wdmmom 09:26 AM 02-21-2012
I provide my accountant with the hours I'm opened (48 per week) times the 48 weeks I'm opened per year. (Closed 4 weeks for vacation/sick/holiday time).

I then add about 30 minutes each morning that I spend preparing food, cleaning up, etc.,

I keep track of all of the hours I work (actual open time and closed time) and the mileage I drive for shopping, bank runs, post office, etc. I don't know if the hours mean anything but my accountant asks me each year the amount of hours I was OPENED per year. I always give him both the hours I was opened and the hours I worked.

What he does with it, I'm not sure but I know he needs it.
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MrsB 12:21 PM 02-21-2012
I have been audited before and was told you can't just claim a certain number of hours per day without showing proof. It can be an estimate but the estimate still has to be proven. So you keep track over a month period of time how much you spend outside of open hours and average it. You can't just use an average of what other daycare providers use.

I was also told to be very careful about using opening hours to calculate your time space percentage. You can use them but you may have to show proof for a significant amount of time that you actually have kids during your full operating hours.

For this reason, I use MMK to input my drop off and pick up times and add to MMK the extra time I do daycare stuff (when kids aren't here) weekly after I transferred it from my calander.

If you keep track of all of this for a month or two and it averages out to what you have been claiming on your taxes then your all good. But speaking from experience, saying because my tax professional said that is what is average, doesnt usually fly, not without a little back up.
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TomCopeland 10:11 PM 02-21-2012
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
I was told by my accountant that you take your business hours you are open and can add 2 hours per day for cleaning, prep, paperwork, shopping, etc.
No, don't do this. You must have records to show the hours you worked. Without backup records, the IRS will not allow you to count hours. Keep at least two months of careful records each year and use the average for these two months for the rest of the year.
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Country Kids 07:58 AM 02-22-2012
So here is my question-is there a limit on the number of hours you can claim a day? I have to do some things before work and of course after work. What would the determine a reasonable cleaning amount. How would you determine what would be for family and what would be for childcare. I think since we have different guidelines in cleaning for childcare that probably most of your cleaning turns into being for chidcare more than family.
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MrsB 08:50 AM 02-22-2012
I know it seems somewhat redundant to use your time/space% to calculate your cleaning time, to calculate your time/space%. But over the last 7 years my t/s% has averaged about 45%. So I track all my cleaning hours and claim 45% as daycare cleaning. This method passed in my audit! Another way to do it would be, on a vacation week or days that you are not open for daycare, keep track of how many hours you clean for home, then how many hours you clean during days/weeks you have daycare. When you subtract the 2 it will give you an idea of how much MORE you clean for daycare rather than if you had no daycare.
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TomCopeland 05:47 PM 02-22-2012
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
So here is my question-is there a limit on the number of hours you can claim a day? I have to do some things before work and of course after work. What would the determine a reasonable cleaning amount. How would you determine what would be for family and what would be for childcare. I think since we have different guidelines in cleaning for childcare that probably most of your cleaning turns into being for chidcare more than family.
There is no limit on the number of hours you can claim in a day that you worked in your home when children were not present. One way to break out business from personal cleaning is to count heads. 3 personal people and 6 business children = 67% business, so count 67% of your cleaning time as business. This is just one way.
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