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Parents may get tax break for putting kids in day camps

Here's a tax break for the busy summer. Many working parents must arrange for care of their children during the school vacation period. A popular solution - with a tax benefit - is a day camp program.

The Internal Revenue Service reminds parents that the cost of day camp may count as an expense toward the child and dependent care credit. (Expenses for overnight camps do not qualify.)

If the kids aren't going to day camp, your at-home childcare provider or a daycare facility outside the home can also provide some tax benefit if the child is younger than 13 and you qualify for the credit.

The credit is generally 20 to 35 percent of non-reimbursed expenses; up to $3,000 in expenses for one child and up to $6,000 for two or more children. The actual credit is also based on your income. The 35 percent rate applies if your income is less than $15,000; the 20 percent rate if your income is more than $43,000.

Be sure to keep records of child- or dependent-care related expenses.

For more information, check out IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, available at or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

For the genuine IRS Web site, be sure to use .gov. Don't be confused by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is