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Old 10-31-2010, 09:55 PM
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Default Purchasing Food for Daycare

I am currently reading one of Tom Copeland's books on taxes. It was talking about purchasing food and keeping track of your receipts....came down to being as simple and purchasing and keeping daycare food separate from the family food. (At least I think so to avoid all the math!) It didn't talk about how far in advance you can purchase food for claiming it on the Food Program or as a deduction at the end of the year. If pretzels or graham crackers or canned fruits/veges go on sale, don't you stock up for a few months? Please share any advice about food shopping and organizing food/receipts if you have any. Thanks
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:14 AM
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To my knowledge, if you claim the standard IRS deduction for food, you do NOT have to keep reciepts, therefore, less work & bookkeeping!

I recently had a post about food myself. Did you happen to see it? Someone had put the amounts down and seemed quite reasonable to me. The only one I remember at the top of my head, is that you can claim .66 per snack per child per day, so if you serve 2 snacks a day that would be 1.32 per child per day.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:39 AM
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I just claim standard allowances as well. So the only thing I need receipts for are cleaning supplies, household items, preschool/art supplies, etc. No food stuff.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:20 AM
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I love the fact that we dont need reciepts for food, BUT..doesn anyone know WHY?? Seems like the IRS is so strict on reciepts, but not on food! I'm just curious! Anyone know??
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by daysofelijah View Post
I just claim standard allowances as well. So the only thing I need receipts for are cleaning supplies, household items, preschool/art supplies, etc. No food stuff.
ditto....my own kids raid the 'daycare' snacks all the time LOL
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legomom922 View Post
I love the fact that we dont need reciepts for food, BUT..doesn anyone know WHY?? Seems like the IRS is so strict on reciepts, but not on food! I'm just curious! Anyone know??
If you don't keep receipts and claim the standard allowance you should still keep your sign-in sheets with dates, times and names of the kids that you had and then probably a log of what meals they ate while they were there that day just in case you ever get audited. This is why I require a sign-in sheet. Then if the IRS ever questions it you can say "Here you go, they were here these days and ate these meals" and you have parent signatures.

I believe that you also have to keep at least a couple of weeks worth of meal samples (I keep 2 months worth) so that they can see what you feed the kiddos. This way you can show that you really are feeding them an actual meal and not just like a handful of dry cheerios and calling it "lunch" lol.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:19 AM
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Well it still wouldn't be proof though..I can make up all the meal menus I want, but it wouldnt mean thats what I served either..And another thing, I have parents bring all the food anyway, BUT if I were the type of person who lies and cheats,I could still say I bought the food.. I just dont understand why they dont ask for reciepts..Of course I guess reciepts aren't proof either, LOL because it could be stuff you bought for home anyway, LOL
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:31 PM
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They only want you to keep receipts for food if you are claiming more than the standard deduction. OMG, Tom's book on record-keeping named 6 different ways to calculate how much food was costing for daycare kids and now I see why most choose the standard deduction!

If you're thrifty and purchase things on sale or with coupons or in bulk, you may just be getting close to fully-reimbursed for food costs. It talks about how the food program partially reimburses because you don't know if you're spending more on food or not unless you're keeping track. If you want to claim your own specific amount though with one of his six ways of calculating over time, then you also need to keep our own families personal food receipts as proof that the food you buy for your family isn't being counted as daycare food. I eat out a lot, so it says to even keep your fast-food or restaurant receipts as proof the food purchased under daycare expenses wasn't for your family. LOL

The rates for 2004 in the book say for 48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)
Breakfast: .99
Lunch/Supper: $1.83
Snack: .54

I just went to www.redleafinstitute.org to find the 2009 rates as follows:
Breakfast: $1.17
Lunch/Supper: $2.18
Snack: .65

So they have gone up a little bit, but something is better than nothing.
http://www.resourcesforchildcaring.o...?page=ratessma
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:17 AM
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Yikes that's a lot of work! I'm in a food program and use MMK. I love it because even though they only pay for 3 meals a day I can track more and they give me a sheet at the end of the year that says how many meals I was not paid for so I can adjust stuff on my own. My husband and I figured out that we generally spend a lot less on food than we are given back through the food program because we buy bulk and on sale all the time.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by legomom922 View Post
Well it still wouldn't be proof though..I can make up all the meal menus I want, but it wouldnt mean thats what I served either..
It is proof enough for them, that's all that the IRS requires and that's even if someone gets audited. The IRS doesn't care really, they don't even care what you feed them ... you can literally tell them that you feed the kids cookies and soda all day long and they'd still give you the standard allowance lol. As long as what you are saying makes sense and sounds reasonable, they'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

The best way for you to get back what you spent in groceries is to buy the DC food seperate and keep ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS meaning keep your DC and household food receipts. I was doing it his way after I stopped with the food program at the beginning of the year until my wonderful and ever so smart fiance threw my stack of receipts away in the summer . So I'll have to claim the standard this year and try again at the beginning of the new year.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:18 AM
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dont you think though you make out better with the standard deduction? I think its pretty generous myself.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:25 PM
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Default Food expenses

The standard meal allowance rate for 2010 is $1.17 breakfast, $2.21 lunch/supper and $.66 snack. The rates for Alaska and Hawaii are higher (ask me if you want to know). If you use this method you don't have to save any food receipts.

The reason providers have the standard meal allowance rate is because I lobbied the IRS to adopt it! The change happened in 2003. Providers always had a hard time keeping all their food receipts and trying to figure out how much was business food. So I proposed to the IRS that they allow a standard meal allowance rate and they accepted it. They figured it saves providers over a million hours of record keeping each year.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCopeland View Post
The standard meal allowance rate for 2010 is $1.17 breakfast, $2.21 lunch/supper and $.66 snack. The rates for Alaska and Hawaii are higher (ask me if you want to know). If you use this method you don't have to save any food receipts.

The reason providers have the standard meal allowance rate is because I lobbied the IRS to adopt it! The change happened in 2003. Providers always had a hard time keeping all their food receipts and trying to figure out how much was business food. So I proposed to the IRS that they allow a standard meal allowance rate and they accepted it. They figured it saves providers over a million hours of record keeping each year.
Thanks Tom! You've made our lives much easier!
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